Manchester United are in pole position to finally sign Sergej Milinkovic-Savic from Lazio in the summer – but the same report has revealed they are not his preferred destination.
Man Utd seem to have been linked with Milinkovic-Savic for an eternity. The dynamic midfielder has been on their radar for a number of years. Rumours of a move have been resurfacing and it was recently claimed their interest is concrete.
As also noted in Tuesday’s Paper Talk, midfield is the main area Man Utd are aiming to strengthen in the summer. The likes of Paul Pogba, Donny van de Beek, Jesse Lingard and Juan Mata are all facing uncertain futures there.
United might have to make multiple signings to replenish the ranks in the role. Milinkovic-Savic is someone they could keep their gaze on as they aim to do so.
According to Il Messaggero, Man Utd are one of the leading contenders to sign the Serbia international from Lazio.
Despite an initially difficult start to life under Maurizio Sarri, the 26-year-old has rediscovered his best form recently. This season, he has a total of seven goals and eight assists from 21 Serie A appearances.
But it may end up being his last campaign in the light blue jersey. The report claims Lazio will need to “sacrifice” someone in the summer and Milinkovic-Savic is the likeliest candidate.
Man United will suffer from midfielder issues
Bruno and Pogba don't want new contracts yet, while Lingard and Donny want out already.
They are hoping to gain around €80m from his departure, which shows United how much they may have to spend.
Furthermore, they are facing competition from Juventus and Inter Milan, who want to keep Sergej in Serie A.
But Il Messaggero believe Man Utd are “on pole” to take the Spain-born ace.
Milinkovic-Savic has different dream in mind
Even so, Milinkovic-Savic is eyeing a move elsewhere if everything can go his way. His preference, the report adds, would be to join Real Madrid instead.
Madrid are undergoing an evolution in midfield, where their main options are Luka Modric, Toni Kroos and Casemiro. The former two are already in their 30s and the latter will be too by the end of the season.
The Spanish giants signed Eduardo Camavinga in the summer to plan for the future. They also have the 23-year-old Federico Valverde. But they could be looking for additional options.
Milinkovic-Savic, in the prime of his career, could be an interesting player to pursue. But it is not clear if the interest in a transfer is mutual, or just something the player is dreaming of.
He has been with Lazio since 2015 and is under contract until 2024, but could be ready for a new challenge soon.