As reports suggest, Chelsea have made Lazio midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic their main target for the upcoming transfer window and are reportedly prepared to offer large sums of money if the Blues will get their transfer ban lifted by the time January rolls around.
According to many major media outlets, Chelsea put the £70m-rated Sergej Milinkovic-Savic on top of the list of players they will look to bring in their squad this winter transfer window, that is, however, if their transfer ban will be lifted. The rumours of a potential new arrival to Chelsea arose last week when Chelsea’s scouts reportedly watched Sergej Milinkovic-Savic in Lazio’s Europa League clash with Celtic, where he impressed to a degree, Frank Lampard considered the Serbian midfielder as his “heir”. That said, it won’t be easy to persuade Lazio into selling the 24-year old talent. In the past, Lazio president Claudio Lotito refused offers of up to €100million (£86m) for the player, who he believes is a future star and a “sergeant” of the side.
Sergej Milinkovic-Savic has been reportedly a long-term target of Juventus, who eventually decided to step away from the deal after Lotito’s resistance to selling the player and the huge price tag put on the Serbian midfielder. Despite the deterring factors, Lampard is determined to get his hands on Savic, who he believes is a similar midfielder as he was, due to his technical abilities and his eye for the goal. Furthermore, should Chelsea get their hands on Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, Lampard could use him as a more offensive midfielder, knowing that N’Golo Kante could cover for him defensively. At the end of the day, seeing how Sergej Milinkovic-Savic is a classic box-to-box midfielder with a strong physique, physicality and speed it’s easy to understand why Lampard is so keen on signing him.
But a player of such quality did not go unnoticed by other clubs, especially from other clubs from Premier League. Manchester United were already linked with Lazio midfielder during summer but failed to close out the deal. That said, the Red Devils are reportedly back in the race for the youngster and some reports even suggest they already have a verbal agreement with him. Is that true or not is yet to be seen, but considering his quality and appeal, it’s easy to understand other clubs are interested in signing him as well. In the case of Manchester United, there is one more factor that we need to consider.
United fear they could lose Paul Pogba this summer and for that reason, they will be eager to find a replacement, no matter the cost and Sergej Milinkovic-Savic seems like a perfect fit for them. But as stated before, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic won’t come cheap, especially seeing how he has a contract with Lazio up to 2024, meaning Lazio are in a no hurry to sell him. This now means, we will probably be looking at a bidding war between Manchester United and Chelsea. Unfortunately for Man United, Chelsea have a lot of money to spend given they did not bring any new players during summer.
Where will Sergej Milinkovic-Savic end up by the end of the next transfer window is yet to be seen and while we can expect more clubs to join the race to sign him, he could just as well remain at Lazio, where he is seemingly happy and has no reason to leave and the same can be said for Lazio who have no reason to sell him before 2024. That said, there is still plenty of time left for clubs to negotiate the possible transfer, which we can be sure won’t be a cheap one.