Newcastle United

Newcastle United

Premier League • England

Newcastle open talks to sign ‘best midfielder in the world’ after blowing Juventus away with £53m offer

Sergej Milinkovic-Savic and Marcelo Brozovic

Italian journalist Ciro Venerato has claimed that Newcastle United have spoken to one of Serie A’s top midfielders about a January transfer.

Eddie Howe feels his squad is a little light of quality options in the middle of the park and has been looking to strengthen that area and his attack before the window shuts on January 31.

The loss of key man Bruno Guimaraes to an ankle injury for potentially a few weeks has only added to Howe’s desire to get a new addition through the door.

And it appears that the chief target remains Lazio and Serbia star Sergej Milinkovic-Savic.

The 27-year-old is rated as one of the best midfielders in Italian football. Indeed, Lazio’s president, Claudio Lotito, even claims that Milinkovic-Savic is the “best midfielder in the world”.

The talented Serb has been outstanding for the Rome-based outfit since his arrival back in 2015.

Indeed, Milinkovic-Savic has been directly been involved in at least 15 goals in every season since the start of the 2019/20 campaign, which is an incredible return for a midfielder.

However, the player has now entered the final 18 months of his contract. The fact that he’s not shown signs of penning a renewal has alerted a number of top clubs.

And according to Venerato, Newcastle have spoken to the Serbian and are keen to sign him this month. However, there are fears that the player himself does not actually fancy the move.

Lazio playing hardball over SMS

Speaking on 1 Football Club on 1 Station Radio, as relayed by TuttoJuve, the journalist said: “Newcastle had a conference call with Milinkovic-Savic.

“Juve are willing to offer the player €7 million (£6.1m). The English can get to €10 million (£8.7m), plus a higher figure for Lotito, like €60 million (£52.8m).

“Unless Newcastle take a pool shot in January, Milinkovic-Savic will stay at Lazio. The midfielder, however, is hoping for something better than the Magpies, perhaps even from more important clubs.”

Lazio chief Lotito has been adamant that he will not sell the player for a lesser in January.

Milinkovic-Savic, who is also wanted by Arsenal, is arguably Lazio’s best player. Indeed, those thoughts were echoed by Lotito back in November.

He said: “Guess how much he’s worth – he scored a goal at the World Cup with his ankle injured, and he’s the best midfielder in the world.”

Judging by Venerato’s comments, it looks as if Newcastle stand a slim chance of signing the midfielder. That’s despite the fact they have an offer on the table for Milinkovic-Savic.

However, that’s unlikely to phase Howe too much, who could turn to other targets before January 31.

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