Chelsea are reported to be in talks with Lazio over a deal for Sergej Milinkovic-Savic – with Frank Lampard ready to bring him to Stamford Bridge as early as January if their transfer sanctions are lifted.
The powerful box-to-box midfield presence has long been rumoured to be targeted by Manchester United, potentially as a replacement for Paul Pogba should he leave.
There were plenty of suggestions that Milinkovic-Savic was to leave in summer 2018 after a remarkable 2017-18 individual campaign that turned heads across top-level European football clubs.
However, having penned a new deal at Lazio over the summer, the Serbian star poured cold water on his chances of a move to the Premier League, stating his “Manchester United story is finished”.
But it seems a move to England could be on the cards after all, with the Sunday Mirror claiming in an exclusive that the Blues are ready to make the midfielder the first signing of the Lampard regime.
Chelsea are currently under a transfer embargo but the paper claims Stamford Bridge officials are confident that the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) will reduce their punishment when it hears their appeal on November 20.
And should their 12-month transfer ban be reduced, that will give Chelsea the green light to spend again in the January window – with the Mirror stating that Lampard has already set his sights on a deal for Milinkovic-Savic.
It’s reported Chelsea have already contacted Lazio to express their willingness to meet the £70m asking price on the player’s head, with Lampard said to be keen to bolster his midfield options at Stamford Bridge.