Manchester United to rival Real Madrid and Manchester City for Serbian midfielder

Manchester United have already been linked to Lazio midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic this year and a report suggested that Jose Mourinho would have to go head to head with Manchester City counterpart Pep Guardiola, who won his first major honour at the club after spending nearly half a billion on his team. Reports on Monday suggested that Real Madrid are ready to join both Manchester clubs in the race to sign Milinkovic-Savic this summer.

A report by Real Madrid’s mouthpiece Marca, which has also been carried in The Sun states that the Santiago Bernabeu club are looking to chase the 22-year-old as they want to bring in an imposing, physical midfielder. The claim suggests that Zinedine Zidane’s sides have been scouting the former Genk player who is highly placed on their list of reinforcements this summer. United seem to be more in the need of midfield reinforcements this summer with Michael Carrick expected to retire and Marouane Fellaini’s contract expiring in the summer.

United have already been linked with a number of midfielders ranging from Jorginho to Jean-Michael Seri, which would suggest the club are looking to move quickly, this being a FIFA World Cup year and the fact the transfer window will close before the first Premier League match at the start of the 2018/19 season. Jose Mourinho will surely be looking for the club to move quickly so any new players have a chance to travel on the clubs pre-season tour this summer, which looks set to be in the United States of America once again.

Lazio sporting director Igli Tare has recently confirmed that the Biancocelesti had turned down a £62million bid for Milinkovic-Savic last summer with the player’s contract currently expiring at the end of the 2020/21 season. This season, the Serbian has scored 11 goals in all competitions this season, which includes a Brace in the 3-0 victory over Sassuolo on Sunday. There has been a lot of recent speculation surrounding Milinkovic-Savic, especially after he was pictured in Turin, which suggested he was to sign for Juventus – he was visiting his brother in the city. Tare said:

“Over the summer we received, and rejected, an offer worth £62million for Milinkovic-Savic. We want to make Lazio a point of arrival for players rather than a stepping stone to bigger clubs.”

Milinkovic-Savic, a FIFA U20 World Cup winner in 2015, recently spoke to Novosti stating how focused he was at Lazio and that the league has improved recently, also talking about the club wanting to play in the UEFA Champions League next season. The 22-year-old said:

“I am focused only on Lazio. This season, Serie A has improved significantly, as you can see by the fact all the clubs are still in the Champions League or Europa League. As a club, we have a clear goal of a top four position, because that gives qualification to the Champions League from next season. That is a really big challenge.”

The Serbian international also spoke to La Gazzetta dello Sport recently about the speculation surrounding him, saying:

“It’s nice when people are talking about me. But I don’t place too much importance on these things. I’m happy at Lazio and am feeling good here for now, but then we will have to see.”

Lazio have done well so far this season, sitting third in the Serie A table, also earning a Coppa Italia quarter-final place – so there could be some celebration this season, especially if the club qualifies for the UEFA Champions League, which is where they want to be. A player with the ability as Milinkovic-Savic would benefit greatly by playing in the elite European competition which would benefit him at club level and at international level too.

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