Lazio have admitted that the future of Sergej Milinkovic-Savic is in the players own hands. The 25-year-old has had many teams in Europe tracking him over the years but it would also be safe today that the player is not in the same form that he was a few years ago – which could affect the number of clubs actually interested in the player.
In the past, despite a number of rumours linking the Serbian midfielder to club such as Manchester United, the Italian club have always responded with comments stating that the player was not for sale. However, it has been revealed by the sporting director of Lazio that if the player wants to leave the club, he can leave.
This season, before the coronavirus pandemic suspended world football, Milinkovic-Savic made a total of 31 appearances for the club, playing in the Serie A, Supercoppa Italiana, Coppa Italia and the UEFA Europa League – scoring five goals and a further seven assists. During the 2018/19 season, in 41 appearances he scored seven goals and three assists.
During the 2017/18 season, which was probably his beat at Lazio, Milinkovic-Savic made a total of 48 appearances, scoring 14 goals, assisting a further eight. This was the summer he was linked to United Wirth many thinking a move would actually happen and the following summer, with Paul Pogba linked elsewhere, the rumours started again.
Comments from the Lazio sporting director Igli Tare will most likely start the speculation once again that United, or even Chelsea, who has also been looking at the player, could finally sign the player they are rumoured to want to complete their team. Whilst speaking to Sky Sports Italia, Tare stated:
“The player’s desire is crucial. Generally speaking, if a player thinks that their time is up and wants to go somewhere else, it shouldn’t be a problem.
“Eras come to an end. The fact he stayed in Rome for five years is because he has strong links with the city and club.
“When there was some temptation, a bit on our part, a bit on his, we never went all the way. However, things must be assessed at the end of the season.”
The 25-year-old has a contract with Lazio that does not expire until the summer of 2024, meaning he has at least three years remaining at the club this summer. This would give the Italian club a lot of leverage and that whoever wanted to sign the Serbian would pay a premium to do so. It is suggested that £80 million could be enough this summer.
Milinkovic-Savic started out as a youth player at Sporting Clube de Portugal before moving to Grazer AK in Austria, then Fudbalski Klub Vojvodina in Serbia. It was here the player found first team football playing 16 times, scoring four goals and one assist. He was then sold to Belgian club Genk in the summer of 2014.
Whilst playing for Genk, Milinkovic-Savic made 24 appearances for the club, scoring five goals and a further assist. In the summer of 2015, the Serbian was sold to Lazio where he has made a total of 194 appearances, scoring 36 goals and a further 26 assists. If he wants to leave the club this summer, starting again in pastures new could be a good challenge.
During his career, Milinkovic-Savic has won the Serbian Cup with Vojvodina, and the Coppa Italia and the Supercoppa Italiana with Lazio. Internationaly, the 25-year-old has been capped 15 times by Serbia and has yet to score a single goal. As a youth player for Serbia, he helped win the UEFA European U19 Championship in 2013 and the FIFA U20 World Cup in 2015.