Manchester United are eyeing up a move for Lazio’s Serbian midfielder, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, if their proposed deal for Barcelona’s Frenkie de Jong falls through.
That is according to a report via FootballTransfers.com, who claim that United will turn their attention to the 27-year-old who has been a target for the Old Trafford outfit for “many years”.
With Matic and Pogba set to leave at the end of the season, United will most certainly be in the market for at least one replacement midfielder.
As per the report, Lazio president Claudio Lotito claimed that he had turned down a €140 million for the Serbian star, though it is said that this was a guise in a bid to raise his value for his almost inevitable departure this summer.
As such, a fee of around €70m (£59.2m) should be enough to seal the deal, with the report stating that it could even be less than that mark.
With Pogba and Matic set to depart, United’s midfield quality will decrease even further, which is why it is imperative that quality replacements are signed this summer, with United’s lack of defensive stability a direct issue caused by a poor midfield.
The fact that United have averaged 4.4 possession turnovers in the final third serves as evidence for what has been an extremely passive side under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Ralf Rangnick this season.
Milinkovic-Savic, known as “il Sergente” (Sergeant), can single-handedly bolster United’s midfield with his average of 4.07 pressures in the attacking third per 90 an already dramatic improvement on a lethargic midfield. For comparison, McTominay, who is one of the most hardworking players in a United shirt, averages around 2.07 pressures in the attacking third per game and does not offer much going forward in comparison to Milinkovic-Savic (apart from the odd screamer).