Man Utd have seemingly been dealt a double blow to their chances of landing a marquee signing this summer, with Real Madrid and Juventus emerging as fierce competition for Sergej Milinkovic-Savic.
The 23-year-old continues to be one of the most talked-about players in Europe, as he shone again last season for Lazio with 14 goals and nine assists in 48 appearances.
Beyond that, he is able to pair attacking quality with tenacity and a combativeness in midfield, along with his physicality and agility, he is a top player who will likely only get better with experience and maturity.
Unfortunately for Man Utd, it sounds as though they could be falling further adrift of the competition in the battle to sign him.
As per Corriere dello Sport, while they’re specifically mentioned as an interested party and have had their own bid rejected, it’s claimed that Real Madrid are preparing a €150m assault for the Serbian international.
If that wasn’t a big enough blow in itself that the reigning European champions are setting their sights on the same target, Milinkovic-Savic’s father has been discussing his future and has urged him to snub both clubs by joining Serie A giants Juventus instead.
“I told him so many times Juventus would be the ideal team, perfect for him,” he is quoted as saying by Tuttosport. “He would have the opportunity to grow and improve again until he reaches full maturity.
“With players of the highest level, he could win the Scudetto, the Italian Cup and make an important contribution to triumph in the Champions League. He could go to Spain after he turns 25, he will have completed his footballing maturity in Italy, just like [Zinedine] Zidane did.”
That doesn’t sound promising at all from a Man Utd perspective, but it remains to be seen what Milinkovic-Savic opts to do and firstly whether or not Lazio can be persuaded to part company with their biggest asset.
The 23-year-old will hope to impress at the World Cup this summer, as he made his first competitive appearance for Serbia against Costa Rica in their opening game on Sunday.
In truth, his father’s strategy does seem to make most sense as while he’s still young, joining the dominant force in Italy could be the logical next step in his progression.