Man Utd need ‘miracles’ to change plan for long-term target, whose links with Arsenal and Newcastle have been brutally shut down

Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, Lazio v Hellas Verona May 2022

Sergej Milinkovic-Savic will be staying at Lazio this summer despite interest from Manchester United and Chelsea, his agent has revealed.

Milinkovic-Savic has been linked with Manchester United for what seems like an eternity, without the move ever happening. This summer, though, there was revived speculation that it could be time for the Serbia international to make the move.

His contract with Lazio is due to expire in 2024. With that in mind, this could have been an optimum time for them to sell him before his value begins to drop.

Manchester United were once again mentioned as potential suitors for Milinkovic-Savic. They have found themselves needing a new midfielder or two in recent months.

Casemiro has arrived from Real Madrid as one reinforcement. But perhaps there could be room for another midfielder at Old Trafford. Alas, it has now been confirmed that, barring ‘miracles’, it will not be Milinkovic-Savic.

His agent, former Chelsea striker Mateja Kezman, has told Corriere Dello Sport: “If miracles do not happen in these last three days he will stay at Lazio. Until time will tell.

“This summer no club was ready to pay what [Lazio president, Claudio] Lotito asked for, so I don’t think the situation will change.

“Italian clubs now can’t afford him. Those abroad show great interest. But when they understand how much money is needed this becomes a problem.”

There have been suggestions that Lazio want €100million (£85.6million) for Milinkovic-Savic. Kezman believes it may be too steep a valuation due to Lazio’s lack of European trophies.

That said, he obviously does not deny the size of his client’s talent. But perhaps he could continue work to ensure his price is more reasonable.

Links with Premier League trio addressed

It would surely be welcome for clubs who are keen to sign the Spain-born talent. Responding to a direct question about Manchester United preparing a bid, Kezman said: “Sergej arouses a lot of interest.

“There have been a lot of speeches in the past and recently, but things didn’t happen for many reasons.”

During the interview, the agent addressed three more Premier League suitors for Milinkovic-Savic. First, Kezman confirmed interest from Chelsea, which faded due to other priorities.

The agent said: “[Thomas] Tuchel likes the player a lot, but he needed a central defender.”

Kezman then gave a damning verdict on other links with Arsenal and Newcastle United.

He responded: “To be honest Sergej and I think these options are not for him. In the future he will want to play every season in the Champions League.”

Where will appeal to Milinkovic-Savic in future?

Of the four clubs mentioned, only Chelsea could have offered Milinkovic-Savic involvement in the Champions League this season. Manchester United were in it last term, but like Arsenal, only have Europa League football on offer this time around.

Newcastle, for their part, are at an earlier stage of their process of growth. As a result, they are not yet taking part in any UEFA competition.

How the situation will look in 2023, when it might be time for Milinkovic-Savic to think more carefully about a transfer, remains to be seen.

Lazio could offer the 27-year-old a new contract with a release clause. However, Kezman says it will not happen until the transfer window closes.

The presence of an exit clause in any potential new deal may make him gettable in future. Manchester United or Chelsea in particular could hope to be appealing by then if they remain interested.

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