Erik ten Hag’s Manchester United are expected to sign at least one new central midfielder this summer to replace Paul Pogba, who’s existing deal expires next month
Image: Getty Images)
Lazio president Claudio Lotito insists Sergej Milinkovic-Savic is not for sale amid rumours linking him with both Juventus and Manchester United.
The Serbia international, 27, has impressed for Lazio this term, scoring 10 goals in 35 Serie A appearances from central midfield. He’s played 292 games for the Italian giants since joining the club in the summer of 2015, winning their Player of the Season award last year.
Milinkovic-Savic is regarded as one of the best midfielders in Serie A – winning such an award in 2018-19 – and has picked up 30 senior caps for Serbia since making his debut in 2017. His honours at Lazio include the Italian Cup and two Italian Super Cups.
According to Transfermartkt, Milinkovic-Savic is valued at £63million – although prospective buyers would need to table a bid in excess of that figure due to his existing deal. The talent still has 25 months remaining on his Lazio contract.
And Lotito wants Milinkovic-Savic to stay in Rome beyond this summer. “You always talk about money, I [talk about] technical and personal qualities of my players,” the Lazio chief told Goal. “Milinkovic is not for sale, I rate him a lot.
“I have never put him up for sale, is there a ‘for sale’ sign? In order to sign him, you need someone to sell him… I rate Milinkovic a lot, he is a game changer and we have a great relationship. If a big club comes in for him, I would ask the player what he wants to do.
Who should Manchester United sign this summer? Let us know in the comments below!
“At my club, we prioritise the human over the financial [aspects]. When I received an offer of €140 million, I didn’t sell him. I am the only case in world history. Today there is an issue with regards to respect towards the man and player.”
Milinkovic-Savic’s agent Mateja Kezman told TuttoJuve the rumours linking his client with United were “fake” earlier this month. “It’s fake news,” said the former Chelsea striker. “I have never given interviews in the last period, some journalists are really incredible! I’m very angry, it is a lack of respect towards me, towards Sergej and Lazio.”
United are on the hunt for a new central midfielder – if not two or three – due to Paul Pogba’s contract expiring next month. The Frenchman, 29, is expected to leave Old Trafford after winning just two major honours during an underwhelming six-year spell.
Central midfield is regarded by many as the weak point in United’s team. Some believe Fred and Scott McTominay are not good enough for a club with Premier League title ambitions, while Nemanja Matic is tipped to leave to Old Trafford this summer.
Erik ten Hag will become United’s new manager shortly, replacing interim boss Ralf Rangnick. He’s aiming to win a third Eredivisie title at Ajax before moving to Old Trafford. Ten Hag’s side are four points clear of PSV in second with two games to go.
It’s unclear which central midfielders Ten Hag is interested in signing when he arrives in Manchester. United star Donny van de Beek, who is currently on loan at Everton, could be reintegrated into the squad after playing under Ten Hag at Ajax.