Liverpool have joined the race to sign Lazio midfield powerhouse Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, according to a report in Italy that casts doubt on the future of an existing member of Jurgen Klopp’s squad.
Strengthening in midfield has become a priority task for Liverpool ahead of the new year. They need to evolve an ageing department, where they could lose Arthur Melo, James Milner, Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain when their deals expire in June.
Finding someone of quality to fill any potential void will be crucial for Liverpool to remain competitive. With that in mind, they have been linked with some of the world’s best players in the position.
For example, there has been much talk about them going after Borussia Dortmund superstar Jude Bellingham. However, there are no guarantees that signing the England international will be easy.
Likewise, a deal for Bayern Munich prospect Jamal Musiala may be of interest too, but does not look simple either.
Liverpool are having to keep their options open as they continue to plan. But in another sign they are aiming high, one of the alternatives to have emerged happens to be Sergej Milinkovic-Savic.
The Serbia international has been one of the best midfielders in Serie A for a number of years. There have been regular suggestions of a transfer to the Premier League as a result, most frequently to Manchester United.
But Milinkovic-Savic remains on Lazio’s books, with his contract due to last until 2024. Yet the Rome-based club could be bracing themselves for more interest in his services.
According to Calciomercatoweb, Liverpool have joined Manchester United and Chelsea in the race to sign the 27-year-old.
Part-exchange deal could help Liverpool
Liverpool’s plan is apparently to wait until the summer of 2023 before making a bid. By then, Milinkovic-Savic should only have one year left on his contract. Therefore, Lazio might be in a weaker negotiating position.
Still, the Serie A side will be holding out for a fee of at least €70million (around £61.5million). However, the report speculates that Liverpool could halve their outlay by offloading a player in the opposite direction instead.
Calciomercatoweb claims that Liverpool could be willing to sacrifice Joe Gomez as a makeweight for the midfielder. Gomez was linked with a departure this summer before extending his contract until 2027 instead.
The defender has not seen his gametime significantly improve, though. Therefore, he might be far enough down the pecking order to consider expendable in 2023.
It is believed he would be valued around the €35million mark (just over £30million). Lazio are relatively light in the centre-back department, so Gomez might appeal to them.
By using such a formula to bid for Milinkovic-Savic, Liverpool might be able to beat one of his other prime suitors, Juventus, to his signature.
Only time will tell how accurate Calciomercatoweb‘s suggestions prove to be. Milinkovic-Savic should definitely be someone to consider for Liverpool. Whether he will be easily gettable is another matter.
Milinkovic-Savic worth keeping an eye on
He has qualities that would align well with the Premier League. What’s more, he is in the prime of his career at 27 years old.
Liverpool fans will probably be waiting for sources closer to home before getting carried away about Milinkovic-Savic just yet, though.
And in the meantime, Gomez will be fighting for his place in defence. So soon after committing his future to the club, he may have a point to prove.
If his situation does not improve, though, he might be worth sacrificing for someone like Milinkovic-Savic. The midfield is more of a priority area, although their main defenders aren’t getting any younger either.
All each player can do is focus on their individual form and make their case for an Anfield future.