Chelsea have been handed a major transfer boost over Manchester United in their pursuit of Lazio star Sergej Milinkovic-Savic.
Milinkovic-Savic is reportedly being targeted by a number of top European clubs including the Blues, Arsenal and United. Reports this weekend have indicated that meetings have taken place already between Chelsea and Lazio to discuss all possibilities.
Chelsea are keen to strengthen their midfield options but have failed to find success yet after Aurelien Tchouameni’s decision to join Real Madrid in a deal worth £68million plus add-ons and West Ham seemingly pricing Declan Rice out of a return to Stamford Bridge this summer. Thomas Tuchel’s side reportedly hold a significant advantage over their rivals in the pursuit for the Serbian midfielder, who is valued at around £60million by Lazio.
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According to reports from Italy, via Calciomercato, Chelsea hold an advantage over rivals United in the race for Milinkovic-Savic’s signature due to the fact Erik ten Hag prefers a move for Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong. With Newcastle and Arsenal both not having the appeal of Champions League football either, Chelsea reportedly have a clear run at signing the 27-year-old this summer.
Juventus have targeted the Serbia international for a number of months, but Lazio would prefer to sell Milinkovic-Savic to a foreign club. The 27-year-old has never said publicly that he wants to leave the club and is only just getting to grips with former Blues’ coach Maurizio Sarri after their first season together.
Lazio director of sport Igli Tare has recently returned to Italy after spending a few days in London, where it’s reported he had meetings with several English sides who are keeping tabs on Milinkovic-Savic. Lazio’s rumoured asking price of £60million is already a significant discount from the €100m that Lazio President Claudio Lotito claims he rejected from a Premier League side only a couple of years ago, but with the Serbian’s contract set to expire in June 2024 and the failure to qualify for the Champions League again, Milinkovic-Savic’s future at the club is in doubt.
Source by Football London