Manchester United’s hopes of signing Sergej Milinkovic-Savic have been dashed after the midfielder revealed he plans to remain at Lazio.
According to ESPN, the Red Devils were among the sides thought to be leading the race for the 24-year-old, along with the likes of Real Madrid and Juventus.
The Serbian star has enjoyed a stellar year for the Biancocelesti, racking up 41 appearances across all competitions and helping the team win the Copa Italia.
Milinkovic-Savic has earned plenty of interest from top clubs around Europe with his performances, but he penned a new deal with Lazio back in October, which is due to run until 2023.
According to Sky Sports Italia, the midfielder has now made a final decision on his future and expects to stay with his current employers for at least one more year.
“Even last year there was a lot of talk about me and that I was leaving, but then I stayed,” said Savic. “I hear the same things now, but I’ve signed a new contract and still have four years on it, so let’s see.”
This latest news represents a transfer blow for United, who are on the lookout for several new players during the summer window.
Club boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is desperate to strengthen his squad at Old Trafford after a nightmare 2018-19 campaign which saw the Red Devils finish sixth in the Premier League.
Milinkovic-Savic is something of an all-rounder, capable of functioning in a holding role or as an attacking midfielder, with superb technical ability and a physical edge to his game.
He might have been a valuable addition to Solskjaer’s ranks, but the Norwegian manager will now have to focus on alternative targets in the coming months.
£68 million-rated Milinkovic-Savic (valuation courtesy of Transfermarkt) will likely continue his development in Serie A, which is great news for Lazio fans as the club aims to return to the Champions League next season.
United, meanwhile, have plenty of work to do while the market is open and bringing in a midfield enforcer is surely still a priority with Ander Herrera set to leave the club in June.