Mateja Kezman, the agent of Lazio midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, insists that his client still ‘loves’ the club and that he will discuss the player’s future at the end of the season, as both Arsenal and Newcastle continue to be linked with a move.
Kezman had held talks with both the Gunners and Magpies last summer but rejected offers from the Premier League duo, who had not qualified to play in the Champions League this term.
However, as it stands, both clubs are expected to be back playing elite European football next season.
Both Mikel Arteta and Eddie Howe are expected to be given funds to bolster their squads in the summer as they look to fight on multiple fronts.
Midfield is an area that both clubs have identified as needing to be strengthened, and Milinkovic-Savic fits the ball in what they are looking for.
The Serbia international has been a stellar performer for the Rome-based club over a number of seasons but has been recently criticised for a drop in his performance levels.
Indeed, SMS, who is currently valued at around £35.2million, has not scored or assisted in any of his last five Serie A outings.
And Kezman told Il Corriere dello Sport: “Somebody is using harsh words to discuss Milinkovic and his form. They are enemies of Lazio.
“It’s shameful that somebody is trying to cause problems and weaken the team.
“It’s true that Sergej is not at his best moment, but over the last eight years, he has never been below his level. He may have had some bad weeks, but at the end of the day, he’s just a man who can have highs and lows also in his private life.”
Milinkovic-Savic hints at Lazio exit
Former Chelsea frontman Kezman continued to defend his client, although Milinkovic-Savic has previously hinted that this might be his last season at Lazio after eight seasons in Rome.
Kezman said: “He is doing his best to regain his best shape and die for Lazio’s shirt in the last four matches.
“He wants to help the club reach a fantastic target like the Champions League. Nobody can question his commitment, his loyalty and his love for Lazio.
“It is unpleasant to hear stories from people I mentioned earlier about his contract and future daily.”
Lazio are willing to extend the 28-year-old’s contract beyond 2024, with Kezman adding: “We’ve spoken many times with the President, deciding that we’ll discuss everything at the end of the season, especially now that Lazio need peace.
“That’s why everyone at Lazio must remain united. Four games remain, and I am sure they will play in the Champions League next season.”