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Serie A club chief declares 27-year-old Manchester United “not for sale”

Sergej Milinkovic Savic of SS Lazio is on the radar of Manchester United. (Photo by Paolo Bruno/Getty Images)
Sergej Milinkovic Savic of SS Lazio is on the radar of Manchester United. (Photo by Paolo Bruno/Getty Images)

Lazio president Claudio Lotito declares that midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic is not for sale amid Manchester United links

Speaking to Goal (h/t Mirror), Lazio president Claudio Lotito has spoken out about the future of midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic in the upcoming summer transfer window, saying the player was not for sale amid links to Manchester United.

Milinkovic-Savic has been one of Lazio’s most consistent performers over the past few years and is a regular in the side. This season as well, he has continued his fine performances from the middle of the park and brought solidity and stability to the team.

His displays have seen him get linked with a move away from Rome, but Lotito has shut down these talks and insisted that the player is not for sale. The club president revealed that he rated Milinkovic-Savic a lot, and would not be parting with him anytime soon.

“You always talk about money, I [talk about] technical and personal qualities of my players. Milinkovic is not for sale, I rate him a lot.”

Manchester United receive transfer blow as Lazio president Claudio Lotito says Sergej Milinkovic-Savic is not for sale. (Photo by Marco Rosi - SS Lazio/Getty Images)
Manchester United receive transfer blow as Lazio president Claudio Lotito says Sergej Milinkovic-Savic is not for sale. (Photo by Marco Rosi – SS Lazio/Getty Images)

United and Juventus have both been linked with a move for the Serbian, and it remains to be seen which of the two sides is leading the race to sign him. While the former offers him a chance to move to a bigger stage, the latter provides him with an opportunity to stay in Italy.

“I am the only case in world history”

Lotito revealed that he once received an offer of €140m for Milinkovic-Savic, but refused to sell the player. The club president insisted that at Lazio, they prioritised the human over financial aspects and would fight to keep him the Serbia international in Rome.

“At my club, we prioritise the human over the financial [aspects]. When I received an offer of €140 million, I didn’t sell him. I am the only case in world history. Today there is an issue with regards to respect towards the man and player.”

Lotito’s comments make it seem that United will have quite a fight on their hands to convince him to sell his star midfielder, as well as battle Juventus for his signature. The player is clearly in high demand, with previous bids for him going well above his valuation.

Manchester United will need to fight Juventus to land Lazio midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic in the summer. (Photo by Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images)
Manchester United will need to fight Juventus to land Lazio midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic in the summer. (Photo by Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images)

The Serb has only gotten better and better in Serie A since his move from Genk in 2015, but it could perhaps now be time for him to move on and take up a different challenge. At 27, he is about to enter the prime years of his playing career, and a club like the Red Devils could benefit from his services.

With another Serbian in Nemanja Matic departing Old Trafford at the end of the season, Milikovic-Savic could prove to be a younger replacement for the veteran. Other players such as Fred and Scott McTominay have tried playing Matic’s role previously, but have not been convincing enough.

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It may take a bumper bid to convince Lotito to sell the ex-Genk star, but it could very well be worth the money they splash on the player. It is no secret that United need midfield reinforcements, and perhaps Milinkovic-Savic could be the player the club ends up with ahead of the new campaign.

But of course, they would have to formalise any interest they may have in the player for that.

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