Manchester United have been told there remains a chance they could sign long-term target Sergej Milinkovic-Savic this summer – but any deal will hit them hard in the pocket.
The Serbian has been linked with a move to Old Trafford since summer 2018 when Jose Mourinho earmarked him as a priority signing, but Lazio’s determination to demand massive money scuppered their hopes.
The player has continued to catch their eye, however, and reports this week have suggested he is one of the men Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has earmarked as a would-be successor to Paul Pogba in the midfield and amid claims he is now wanting rid of the divisive France star.
Now Lazio’s sporting director Igli Tare has laid down the terms in which Milinkovic-Savic can leave and amid claims it would take an offer of €120m – €130m for the Serie A side to cash in on the 25-year-old.
And while United are joined by PSG in also being linked with Milinkovic-Savic, Tare has admitted he will leave were the player to suggest that his time was up at the Stadio Olimpico.
Speaking to Sky Italia, via Football Italia, Tare was asked what would happen if the Aquile received their €120m asking price for the Serb.
“The player’s desire is crucial,” he answered.
“Generally speaking, if a player thinks that their time is up and wants to go somewhere else, it shouldn’t be a problem.
“Eras come to an end. Just look what happened to Napoli this season. The fact he stayed in Rome for five years is because he has strong links with the city and club.”
Tare then suggested both Lazio and Milinkovic-Savic will look again at the situation come the end of the season and he added: “When there was some temptation, a bit on our part, a bit on his, we never went all the way.
“However, things must be assessed at the end of the season.”
Despite being given hope over a deal for Milinkovic-Savic, a report on Monday claimed he was only the Plan B for Solskjaer were they given funds to replace Pogba, with a Holland star instead said to be top of the Norwegian’s wish-list.
Solskjaer handed Pogba advice
Solskjaer, meanwhile, has been advised that the time has come for United to cut their losses on Pogba if the Norwegian is to take the Red Devils on to the next level.
The advice comes from former United midfielder Paul Ince, who reckons Pogba has been exposed by Bruno Fernandes and that the Frenchman’s performances in midfield have ‘bordered on the diabolical’.
“What’s disappointing is the way he’s acted, his behaviour and performances reflect that he’s been unsure about his decision,” Ince told Paddy Power.
“You compare that to Bruno Fernandes, and his arrival at United, and it’s crazy. He’s come in and hit the ground running fairly instantly, winning over the fans in the process. Pogba never did that, and his performances have been inconsistent to say the least.
“Sometimes they’ve been on the border of diabolical, and occasionally they’ve been brilliant. When you cost that kind of money as a player, fans expect you to be consistently great, especially when you’re playing for Man Utd. Their expectations are very high. The on the pitch performances, plus his behaviour off the pitch, with his agent and generally acting up, isn’t good for the club.
“If Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is looking to take the club forward, to build and to instil the ‘United Way’ back into the team, then Pogba’s actions don’t reflect that. The way he’s been acting and behaving recently, he just isn’t good for the club. If you want the right attitude and mentality, and high standards, then sorry, but that doesn’t fit in with Paul Pogba. There’s been too many distractions, too many reports around him and his behaviour, so his time for me is up.
“Perhaps if Fernandes hadn’t come in and done as well as he has done, maybe Ole might try and keep Pogba. But now, he might be thinking if I can get the right money for Pogba, then I can let him go.”