Premier League • England

Arsenal learn hugely appealing asking price for top midfield target as sellers identify replacement

Sandro Tonali and Sergej Milinkovic-Savic

Sergej Milinkovic-Savic will be allowed to leave Lazio for a relatively modest fee in the summer – and a move to Arsenal would be appealing, a report has claimed.

Milinkovic-Savic is about to enter the final year of his contract with Lazio, who have historically stood in his way of a transfer by setting high asking prices.

But their time to cash in on one of their best players of the modern era is running out. Therefore, a summer sale is increasingly likely.

Arsenal have established themselves as one of Milinkovic-Savic’s main suitors. And they will have taken encouragement from the latest updates regarding the Serbia international.

According to Il Messaggero, Lazio will be happy to accept an offer of €40million (£35.2m) for Milinkovic-Savic in the summer.

In fact, they have already identified Napoli’s Piotr Zielinski – who has played under current Lazio boss Maurizio Sarri before – as a replacement who would cost exactly the same sum.

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Therefore, the pieces are falling into place for Milinkovic-Savic to sign for a Premier League club at long last. He finds the idea of playing in England appealing, according to the report, which gives Arsenal an advantage.

There is also interest from Juventus in Serie A. But the 28-year-old isn’t entirely comfortable about joining them due to some off-field uncertainty.

Newcastle pose threat for Milinkovic-Savic

Instead, Arsenal’s main competition for Milinkovic-Savic could be Newcastle United. Yet it is the Gunners who are currently putting active work in towards the transfer.

Still, Newcastle could become serious contenders to sign the Spanish-born star. It will be up to Arsenal to keep them at arm’s length in the transfer battle.

Milinkovic-Savic has made 38 appearances in all competitions for Lazio this season. In the process, he has scored eight goals and added eight assists.

His spell with the club began in 2015, from which point he has amassed 332 appearances, 66 goals and 59 assists.

Previously, he had enjoyed brief spells with Vojvodina and Genk. He could soon be due for another change in his career.

Arsenal and Newcastle are both targeting involvement in the Champions League next season. Mikel Arteta’s side would love to get there as Premier League champions if they can stay above Manchester City.

With Lazio in contention for a top-four finish in Serie A as well, having only had Europa League and Europa Conference League football on offer this term, Milinkovic-Savic could continue at a similar level.

But the Premier League would be a new environment for him – one which his qualities seem to match up well with.

Joining Arsenal could be attractive not only because of their competitive nature from recent months, but because they are actively looking for fresh energy in their midfield.

Newcastle, meanwhile, have more of a long-term project, but Eddie Howe appears to have his team ahead of schedule.

Either way, Milinkovic-Savic could show what he is all about to a new audience.