Lazio midfielder linked to Manchester United again with reports suggesting they are in a commanding role

Manchester United are reportedly leading Premier League rivals Tottenham Hotspur for Lazio midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, at least according to Mundo Deportivo. The 23-year-old Serbian has been linked to United for a while now with only a few clubs able to spend a massive transfer fee in any one summer transfer window. Despite being Serbian, Milinkovic-Savic has a Spanish passport after his father played for La Liga side UE Lleida. He is reportedly wanted by United, Manchester City, Spur, Chelsea, Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona.

It was widely speculated ahead of the January transfer window that Milinkovic-Savic would be leaving Lazio after he was pictured in Turin, the home of Juventus, which merely added to the speculation. In fact, he was in the city to visit his brother, former United youth goalkeeper Vanja Milinkovic-Savic, who currently plays for Torino. United manager Jose Mourinho and Spurs counterpart Mauricio Pochettino are both said to be the serious contenders of the Premier League clubs with Barcelona also having the player scouted.

Milinkovic-Savic’s agent is former Chelsea forward Mateja Kezman and with him playing in England, the Netherlands, Spain, Turkey, France, and China, his experience could help covet a big-money move for his client. He has also had his client compared to Paul Pogba and Zinedine Zidane. There is certainly a big interest surrounding Milinkovic-Savic and this summer could be the one that he secures a bigger club to show his talents and abilities. As reported by The Sun, Kezman has said:

“When Sergej arrived in Italy there were comparisons with Paul Pogba. I think that now Milinkovic-Savic has some different qualities that are better than Pogba. In these past six months, he has made enormous progress and has the possibility to become the best in the world in my opinion.

“He reminds me of Zinedine Zidane sometimes and there’s certain things he does that you cannot see on the television. For me, he can become better that Arjen Robben and Frank Lampard and will one day contest the Ballon d’Or.”

This season, Milinkovic-Savic has made a total of 45 appearances for Lazio, playing a total of 3,534 minutes of football in the Serie A, UEFA Europa League, Coppa Italia and the Supercoppa Italia. In those matches, the Serbian has scored 13 goals, assisting six more. Playing as a central midfielder, also able to play in an attacking sense, Milinkovic-Savic averages (per 90 minutes) 1.6 tackles, 0.8 interceptions, 0.9 clearances, and 0.2 blocks. His passing averages at 79.2%, which is beneficial for those interested in him this summer.

In an attacking sense, Milinkovic-Savic averages (per 90 minutes) 2.2 shots, 1.6 key passes, and 1.4 dribbles. Being a player who clearly offers a lot going forward, as well as in other midfield duties, the Serbian is on average (per 90 minutes) fouled 1.5 times, dispossessed 2.1 times, called offside 0.3 times, but loses the ball through bad control 3.3 times. Milinkovic-Savic has many strengths, including; aerial duels, long shots, defensive contribution, through balls, dribbling, and concentration. He’s also an indirect set-piece threat but commits fouls and gets fouled very often.

This summer, with Michael Carrick set to retire and the uncertainty surrounding the future of Marouane Fellaini, with Mourinho suggesting the Belgian would stay at the club but reports on Wednesday suggesting that may not be correct, United may need to bring in two midfielders, one would need to be defensive minded, replacing Carrick. The Serbian, 23, would cost in excess of £89 million, another massive transfer fee for a talented young player, two years after Paul Pogba returned to the Theatre of Dreams.

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copyright: JW

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