According to Corriere dello Sport, Real Madrid look set to sign Lazio midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, with the player’s agent Mateja Kezman having been offered £137m from Los Blancos. Further reports revealed Kezman held talks with Lazio president Claudio Lotito to make clear the midfielder’s intentions to depart the Stadio Olimpico. It’s bad news for Manchester United, who were close to signing Milinkovic-Savic back in May.
Manager Jose Mourinho was in the market for two central midfielders this summer – one to replace Michael Carrick who was hanging up his boots to become a first-team coach and another to replace Marouane Fellaini who was out of contract and had rebuffed United’s attempts to extend his stay. Mourinho signed Fred from Shakhtar Donetsk, but Fellaini ended up signing a new contract so the Red Devils slowed down on their hunt for second midfielder.
Milinkovic-Savic wouldn’t have come cheap anyway with an asking price over £100m. United have spent around £65m on new recruits this summer. The Lazio star could have been a good addition at Old Trafford, as the 23-year-old has made 122 appearances in all competitions for the Serie A outfit and is regarded as one of the best in his position. However, Real’s financial power may have won this battle.