Serbian midfielder not on the cusp of an £80 million deal to Manchester United, says agent

Manchester United have agreed on an £80 million deal to sign Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, said an ‘exclusive’ by The Sun. Everyone knows how unreliable this newspaper can be when reporting such things as transfer speculation. Mike McGrath of The Sun, stated that United manager Jose Mourinho was able to use his relationship with Mateja Kezman to land his first summer signing. The news would have been great for United fans, many of whom want the Serbian at the club in the summer. There is no reason to get giddy though.

Kezman, a former Chelsea forward, is the agent of Milinkovic-Savic. He spoke to, which was reported by The Mirror, confirming that the 23-year-old was not on his way to Manchester this summer. It may be a  bitter blow for some but at this moment of time, the season is still pretty much on for every club in Europe. The lower leagues in England played their final matches this weekend, other than the playoffs but in Italy, there are still three matches left. Kezman said:

“Lazio have three big games to go and nobody has talked about any negotiations at this moment. The Biancocelesti have the opportunity to get their best result of recent years by qualifying for the Champions League. It’s only normal there is enormous interest in Sergej between some top European clubs, but we do not have any agreement with any club.”

Many may feel dejected by this news but that is what you should be feeling as you in effect believed a rumour written by one of, if not the worst newspapers in the world for speculation. The report carried no source, just supposition. Whilst United and Mourinho may still be interested in Milinkovic-Savic, reports that come out this early tend to be articles to drive traffic to websites such as The Sun. There may be some truth in it and if it happens, McGrath and The Sun will probably say something along the lines as ‘you heard it here first’.

It is guesswork at best and sometimes that pays off. Milinkovic-Savic is going to be a hot property this summer with many of Europe’s elite interested in him. Mourinho needs to replace Michael Carrick and may also need to find a replacement for Marouane Fellaini, who was offered a new contract, Mourinho has stated he wants him to stay but in reports last week he suggested that United left it too late to keep him, suggesting that he will be off to pastures new in the summer. If that happens, Mourinho will need two new midfielders.

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.

Sergej Milinkovic-Savic is tipped to be a Jose Mourinho target but signing him won’t be easy, or cheap

Manchester United are reportedly ready to do battle with Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain for Lazio’s Serbian midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic this summer. The 23-year-old has been standing out at the Biancocelesti in a bid to earn UEFA Champions League football next season with Simone Inzaghi’s a point outside the top four in the Serie A table.

This season has seen Milinkovic-Savic score 11 goals, also adding eight assists in all competitions, which has seen him emerge as one of the most wanted players in European football. Last summer, it was reported that Lazio turned down €70 million for the Serbian and it is suggested that he could cost €100 million or more this summer.

Rome based Italian national sports newspaper, Corriere dello Sport, have today reported that they think Jose Mourinho is looking to sign Milinkovic-Savic as part of his rebuilding plan for the Old Trafford club. It is also suggested that Lazio president Claudio Lotito will try to resist all offers for the Serbian but seems resigned to losing his star player sooner or later.

Milinkovic-Savic is contracted to the Rome-based club until the summer of 2022 and that contractual tie could be something which starts a bidding war amongst Europe’s top clubs with Manchester United, Real Madrid, and Paris Saint-Germain said to have an interest in the Serbian.

United manager Mourinho will be seeking a combative midfielder this summer in a bid to strengthen the midfield at the club, which will lose Michael Carrick, who is retiring and Marouane Fellaini, whose contract expires this summer. The Serbian, a former Genk player, is reportedly better than Paul Pogba, according to Mateja Kezman, the player’s agent. Kezman said:

“I do really respect Pogba, let’s be clear, and other linkers who can run and work for the team, but I think now Sergej has different and better quality than Pogba. He has the touch of a Brazilian and some of the things he does remind me of Zinedine Zidane.

“Milinkovic-Savic is the most effective midfielder in Europe right now, as he can score goals in a variety of ways and has a good head on his shoulders. I’ve played with Arjen Robben, Frank Lampard and some of the best in Europe and I think Sergej can surpass them if he keeps this up. He could soon be a candidate for the Ballon d’Or.”

There has been a lot said about Paul Pogba this season. The Frenchman has not lived up to the expectations at United since making his £89 million return to Old Trafford, nearly two years ago, four years after he left for Juventus. Pogba scored a stunning free-kick, also assisting for the first goal for France against Russia, with Didier Deschamps side winning 3-1.

The media have suggested that there was some beef between the Frenchman and Mourinho but Duncan Castles has stated that Mourinho rates Pogba and is looking to get the best out of him for next season. He says the Frenchman has the attributes to develop as one of the world’s best footballers but seems to be focused on music, hairstyles, and shoes, rather than his football.

The reports linking United to Milinkovic-Savic will no doubt add more fuel to the fire surrounding Mourinho and Pogba but if Castles is right, there is nothing other than the manager trying to get the best out of the player and moving his focus to football, rather than other things. Remember brand Beckham and Sir Alex Ferguson?

Milinkovic-Savic seems to be a quality player for Lazio, a box-to-box midfielder with the skills to push his side forward. The Serbian has great concentration and defensive abilities, also having great dribbling, aerial abilities, also able to shoot from long-range, along with the eye to put through balls into the danger areas.

Milinkovic-Savic could be a player to unlock the best out of United’s midfield, maybe even the player to partner Nemanja Matic, or see United’s reliance in his fellow Serbian reduce, maybe even being that third man in United’s midfield that would enable Pogba to play in his favoured role, more advanced, bridging United’s midfield with the attack.

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.

Manchester United to battle with Paris Saint-Germain for talented midfielder this summer

Manchester United will go head to head with Paris Saint-Germain for the services of Lazio midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic after Juventus were priced out of a possible deal for the Serbian international. Despite the player suggesting that he would not move this winter, speculation has become rife in the world of football again with clubs seemingly getting ready for a big summer to strengthen and secure their respective teams. A bid of around £150 million would be needed to tempt Lazio into selling Milinkovic-Savic, according to reports.

Juventus were tipped as the forerunners in any possible deal for Milinkovic-Savic as they seem to be able to strengthen their side from direct rivals with minimal disruption. The emergence of both United and PSG and their quest to strengthen their respective squads, not to mention the financial strength of both clubs has seen Lazio slap a huge price on the Serbian international which has seen Juventus seemingly miss out on a player they were interested in.

Milinkovic-Savic sparked rumours that he was heading to Juventus this winter after posting an image of himself on Turin on his social media channels. Despite the media flurry of interest, the 22-year-old was visiting his brother, former United Academy goalkeeper Vanja Milinkovic-Savic who currently plays for Torino. United have been linked to Milinkovic-Savic for some time now as he would fit into the midfield alongside Paul Pogba and Nemanja Matic, instantly strengthening the spine of the team and allowing Pogba to play an advanced role, which works for him.

Parisien side PSG have shown their financial muscle in spending £198 million on Neymar in the summer, also coaxing Kylian Mbappe from AS Monaco on a loan deal, of which they will have to pay around £133 million this summer, which could see the club limited in the summer with United especially, seeking to sign Milinkovic-Savic for a lesser fee. With Pogba’s £89 million transfer fee and the fastly rising transfer fees, £150 million for Milinkovic-Savic is high but he is a good player with a great future ahead of him.

I am sure United would spend that sort of money on a player that would allow them to cash in on sponsorship and advertising like they did with Pogba, but a player such as Milinkovic-Savic may not command that sort of interest, which could lead to the Glazers stopping any prospective deal from happening. Manchester United is a business, not a football club. The Glazers will only invest in something that they can get cold hard cash out of. Building a team is not the main focus of the club’s owners. Lining their pockets is.

When the team has paid the price for a lack of investment in the future and they stop achieving, there will be no business for the Glazers, just the ruins of a once-great football club. Then the lessons will be learned – you have to keep your team invested in, keep strengthening and keep the club above their rivals, whether that be local or national. The Glazers must be able to see what can happen. They own one of, if not the richest football club in the country but their continued withdrawals of funds could be causing more problems than they are fixing.

Obviously, the summer is a long way away yet and it is clear that Milinkovic-Savic will not be leaving Lazio this month unless he has duped the media. Whether his destination will be Manchester or beyond in the summer is another thing, as will be the final selling price for the Serbian international. Manchester United and Jose Mourinho will find the players to strengthen the squad and bring them back to the glory days, progress has been made already but there is still a way to get yet. This is the best season post-Sir Alex Ferguson, next season needs to be much better.

Manchester United target focusing on current club rather than entertaining move this month

Manchester United have been linked with many players in and around Europe already this winter, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic was perhaps one of those who could actually do a job in United’s midfield. The player was linked to United in what could have been a £95 million fee to bring the player from Serie A side Lazio to the Theatre of Dreams. For weeks now, United supporters have been demanding United sign Milinkovic-Savic, the brother of former United Academy goalkeeper Vanja Milinkovic-Savic who currently plays for Torino.

The 22-year-old Lazio midfielder was spotted in Turin recently, stating he was visiting his brother, rather than dealing with Juventus, another team credited with an interest in the Spanish-born Serbian. Whilst United do require a new midfielder, it is unlikely to be Milinkovic-Savic this winter as the player has ruled out a move from Lazio stating that he is very happy in Rome. Of course, many players have said this in the past and moved clubs, but big deals like this do not usually happy in the month of January. Speaking to Novosti and reported by Sky Sports, the player said:

“I’m currently just focusing on Lazio’s games. This season, Serie A has significantly improved in quality. The best proof of this is the fact that all the Italian clubs are still in the Champions League or Europa League. I don’t think about leaving Lazio, because I’m very happy in Rome.”

Come the summer, Milinkovic-Savic will probably have many clubs looking for a deal as the players future seems to be exciting. Right now though, the Serbian international will be concentrating on Lazio and their pursuit in the Serie A this season, currently in fifth place and their opposition, Steaua București in the round of 32 in the UEFA Europa League. Milinkovic-Savic has played 20 times for Lazio, 20 starts and three appearances from the bench, scoring seven goals and assisting two more. The Serbian has had 44 shots on goal, 16 of those on target.

United have problems in midfield at this current time. Nemanja Matic has been used for much of the season, playing alongside Paul Pogba, Marouane Fellaini, Ander Herrera and Scott McTominay. United have had Michael Carrick out of action for the majority of the season so far with a heart problem, of which he has recovered and is working on his fitness. Fellaini is also injured at this current time. Herrera and McTominay have been used sparingly with the latter lacking experience, being blooded in this season and the former not actually playing all that well.

With Pogba and Matic in midfield, the Frenchman, when he breaks forward, leaves a space in midfield which Matic cannot fill by himself, which has created space for opposition teams. Having Herrera and Matic in midfield and Pogba playing further forward, brought out the best of the Frenchman and that space was not left open with the advancing Frenchman breaking forward. United will need a new energetic midfielder to fill this void and to fill in for Matic, as he will require rest during stages of the season. Milinkovic-Savic would have been a great signing for that.

The summer is more likely for anything to happen if United are seriously interested in the player. There have been many rumours in the past which seem to have been dreamed up in Spain (Don Balon) and other countries, which have not actually been the truth. The English media seem to jump on these reports as they generate interest, that interest turns into cold hard cash and also seems to start a spate of betting on the transfer happening, which also results in revenue for these companies. The football rumour world has started to become pretty immoral.

copyright: JW