Liverpool identify £44m Arsenal target as ideal Bellingham alternative, as Klopp’s transfer shortlist grows
Liverpool will push to sign Lazio midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic this summer if they fail in their pursuit of Jude Bellingham, according to reports.
With the 28-year-old set to be out of contract in 2024, the Italian club may look to sell him sooner rather than later to recoup a decent transfer fee for his services.
Milinkovic-Savic is widely regarded as one of the best centre-mids in Europe, so would certainly be an excellent alternative to Bellingham if the Reds can get a deal over the line.
This season, Liverpool have struggled for consistency, leaving them in a disappointing sixth place in the Premier League table – seven points adrift from the top four.
As a result, Jurgen Klopp is keen to bolster his squad this summer, especially in the midfield department.
With Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Naby Keita set to leave Anfield in the coming months and the likes of James Milner, Jordan Henderson, Fabinho and Thiago all past their prime, Liverpool’s need for a new midfielder is clear to see.
Jude Bellingham is Klopp’s number one target, but with interest from Real Madrid, Manchester United and Manchester City, the Reds may find it difficult to get a deal over the line.
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Liverpool could rival Arsenal for Milinkovic-Savic
According to the Daily Mail, Milinkovic-Savic is the man Liverpool will turn to should they fail to sign Bellingham in the coming months.
As previously reported by TEAMtalk, Arsenal are also thought to be big admirers of the Serbia international, so Liverpool could face competition for the Lazio star.
Reports suggest that Milinkovic-Savic could be available for a fee of around £44m, considerably less than Bellingham’s monumental price tag of 150m (approx. £132.4m).
This could actually turn out to be a huge bargain, as the midfielder has consistently proven that he can perform at the highest level.
Since joining Lazio back in 2015, Milinkovic-Savic has featured 330 times for the Italian club, scoring 64 goals and making 59 assists in the process.
He is a versatile player, too, with the ability to play as a defensive, central or attacking midfielder, so he could provide cover in several areas for Klopp or Mikel Arteta.
This season, Milinkovic-Savic has continued his excellent form, netting six times and contributing eight assists in 36 outings across all competitions.
However, with it looking unlikely that Liverpool will be playing in the Champions League next season, the Serbian may prefer a switch to the Emirates over Anfield.
But, as we all know, money talks in football, so Milinkovic-Savic’s next destination may ultimately come down to which team offers the most money for the highly-rated midfielder.
What looks almost certain, though, is that he will be leaving Lazio in the coming months.
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