Manchester United are leading the pursuit of Lazio midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic this summer, Corriere dello Sport (Tuesday’s edition, page 18) reports.
The Serbian has been a long-term target for the Red Devils, and he was initially on the club’s radar during the summer of 2019.
He has since been linked on numerous occasions, and the speculation has now intensified with United eyeing a central midfielder.
According to Corriere dello Sport, United ‘remain the main track’ for the midfielder’s transfer away from the Serie A outfit.
Juventus were interested in him in the past, but they are now on course to sign Paul Pogba once his United deal expires on June 30.
Meanwhile, Paris Saint-Germain’s transfer plans are unclear at the moment with the recent dismissal of sporting director Leonardo.
Lazio value their prized asset at €80 million, but the player’s agent Mateja Kezman believes a deal can be struck for €65-70m.
Milinkovic-Savic has come off another bright season in Serie A. He registered 11 goals and 11 assists from 37 league appearances.
Defensively, he was also sound with 1.8 tackles and 0.9 interceptions per game. He won nearly three aerial duels on average for Lazio.
With such statistics, the box-to-box midfielder seems ideal for United. He would be an upgrade on Pogba with his better defensive attributes.
The big question now is whether manager Erik ten Hag would sanction the move. The Dutchman is set to make the transfer decisions this summer.
There are no questions over Milinkovic-Savic’s creativity and defensive qualities, but he is not the best when it comes to distribution.
The 27-year-old averaged just over 81 per cent successful passes in Serie A last term. Ten Hag could be eyeing someone better in this aspect.
Barcelona’s Frenkie de Jong is the first name that comes to our mind. The Dutchman could be available for a similar price this summer.
Comparing with Milinkovic-Savic, he has been superior with over 91 per cent passes completed last term, but does not offer much in the final third.
A final decision may depend on several more factors but if Ten Hag is eyeing a ball carrier, a deal for De Jong appears more realistic.
Stats from Transfermarkt.com and WhoScored.com