Manchester United could save millions by delaying their move for Lazio midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic with the midfielder set to arrange talks with his club over a new contract. The midfielder’s current contract expires in 2024 and is seeking a low release clause to extend his deal in order to facilitate an easy move in the future, something Erik ten Hag could take advantage of.
United were first interested in Milinkovic-Savic three years ago with the Serb one of Ed Woodward’s top targets. Interest has cooled in the intervening period, however the 27-year-old enjoyed an impressive 2021/22 in the Serie A scoring 11 goals in 37 matches for Maurizio Sarri as the Rome club finished fifth in the Italian top flight and has hence emerged as a possibility again.
He has continued to shine this season scoring twice in all competitions as his side sit fourth in the league during the first international break in this campaign.
Italian publication Gazzetta dello Sport have insisted that United remain a ‘possible destination’ for the Serbia international as he considers the next move of his career. However, he is said to have an excellent relationship with Lazio president Claudio Lotito and director of football Igli Tare so is reluctant to put that in jeopardy by forcing a move away.
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As a result, Lazio are attempting to sort out the current situation and have arranged a meeting with Milinkovic-Savic’s agent, former Chelsea player Mateja Kezman. The Italian press believes a contract extension is not yet on the cards as the player is asking for a low release clause to make a future transfer easier.
The Red Devils may therefore be best placed to wait out until at least next summer when the Serie A side will be under more pressure to sell given his contract situation, potentially saving them millions. Alternatively, they could take advantage of a new lower release clause. However, it would not be without risk given other clubs may decide to take a punt on the Serb if he has an impressive World Cup.
Lazio officials instead see the January transfer window as potentially a good opportunity to cash in on their asset, with his price tag expected to rise should he impress for Serbia at the World Cup. The midfielder would also have a greater range of clubs to choose from with United largely the only club credited with a serious interest this summer.
It remains to be seen what Milinkovic-Savic’s next move will be but it remains a situation that United will continue to monitor closely in the coming months.
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