Lazio director opens up on star man’s future as Arsenal, Newcastle, West Ham plot stunning summer move
Lazio director Igli Tare has insisted that top Arsenal, Newcastle and West Ham target Sergej Milinkovic-Savic has a ‘strong bond’ with the Italian club, regardless of what happens this summer.
The Gunners, the Magpies and the Hammers are all reportedly keen to secure the Serbia international’s signature for next season, who has so far refused to pen a contract extension with Lazio.
Milinkovic-Savic is widely considered to be one of the best midfielders in Europe, so it would be a major coup if one of the Premier League clubs can seal a deal.
The player’s agent Mateja Kezman, a former Chelsea striker, said in August both Arsenal and Newcastle had tried to sign his client, but their approaches were rejected as the midfielder wants to play regular Champions League football.
However, with Arsenal currently top of the Premier League table and Newcastle firmly in the race for the top four, Milinkovic-Savic may now decide that a switch to one of the two clubs would be in his interests.
The Serbia international’s contract at the Stadio Olimpico expires in 2024 and talks over a new deal have led nowhere so far. As a result, this summer could represent the last chance for Lazio to get a big return for their star man.
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Lazio director of football opens up on Milinkovic-Savic exit links
Indeed, Lazio’s director of football Tare has suggested that a summer exit from the Italian club is becoming increasingly likely, but adds he still has a lot of respect for Milinkovic-Savic.
Speaking to DAZN, via Football Italia, he said: “Those who have played for Lazio have a strong bond with the club and the city.”
“Some players have been here for a long time and Milinkovic-Savic is among them. He he has a solid bond with Lazio and whatever happens will be the best choice for him and the club.”
As mentioned, Arsenal and Newcastle have previously registered an interest in the midfielder, so there could be a bidding war for his services at the end of the season.
Also, it is believed that West Ham United are plotting an ambitious bid for Milinkovic-Savic, as they look to bring in a top-quality replacement for Declan Rice.
The Serbian star joined Lazio from Genk for €10m (approx. £8.8m) in the summer of 2015. He has scored 64 goals in 324 appearances with the Biancocelesti.
Milinkovic-Savic is a versatile player, with the ability to play as a defensive, central or attacking midfielder, so he could provide cover in several areas for Mikel Arteta, Eddie Howe or David Moyes.
Transfermarkt value the Lazio man at £60m, but with multiple top clubs interested, his ultimate price tag could end up being higher than that.
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