Real Madrid have reportedly suffered a setback as touted target Sergej Milinkovic-Savic appears to be edging towards signing a new contract with Lazio.
The 23-year-old became one of the most sought-after players in Europe this summer as constant speculation linked him with an exit from the Stadio Olimpico.
Given he arguably has all the characteristics required to be a dominant midfield player moving forward as he continues to develop and mature, it’s no surprise that interest has ramped up.
The Serbian international bagged 14 goals and nine assists in 48 appearances last season, but the statistics don’t tell the whole story given his all-round game has been crucial to Lazio’s improvement.
In a boost for the Serie A outfit though, Calciomercato, via the paper edition of Corriere dello Sport, now claim that Milinkovic-Savic wants to stay and could now be offered a significant wage increase to sign a contract renewal.
The same outlet previously reported on Real Madrid’s interest in the player, noting that his €120m price-tag was one of the reasons which put club president Florentino Perez off from making a bid.
In turn, it remains to be seen whether or not the reigning European champions remain interested in Milinkovic-Savic moving forward, or if potentially signing a contract renewal will spell the end of their pursuit.
A move before the Spanish transfer deadline on August 31 now seems highly unlikely, especially given Lazio are unable to sign a replacement as the window is already shut in Italy.
With in mind, coupled with the fact that Milinkovic-Savic may well have signed a new contract by the time the January transfer window comes round, a move to the Bernabeu doesn’t appear to be in his immediate future.
With the physicality, defensive solidity and attacking threat that he possesses though, it could arguably be a matter of time before the rumours start up again.