After all the transfer hype surrounding Sergej Milinković-Savić last summer, he ended up staying at Lazio. Was it worth it? Probably not.
He did add a Coppa Italia to his trophy cabinet, but that was the only positive in a relatively underwhelming season for both Milinković-Savić and Lazio. Champions League place hopefuls at the start of the season, the Rome based side could only finish eighth in Serie A at the end of the season.
There’s no doubting Milinković-Savić’s ability though; he still managed to score seven in 41 appearances in a season where the goals seemed to dry up for Lazio.
He’s established himself as one of the most exciting midfielders in European football. His through balls and defensive contribution has been highlighted as being his strong points and he has proved himself to be a complete midfielder. As a result, he has been targeted by some of Europe’s top clubs. Here’s a rundown of those clubs…
Milinković-Savić, who was actually born in Catalonia, has been linked with a move to Barcelona in recent months as they reportedly sent a scout to watch him earlier this season.
If Barça were to complete a deal for Milinković-Savić, it would surely be a big step in their rebuilding process as they look to replace their ageing squad and once again compete for the Champions League trophy.
However, a deal for Milinković-Savić looks to be unlikely as it is unclear where he would fit in a three-man midfield that could already include Sergio Busquets, Artur Melo, Arturo Vidal and now Frenkie De Jong (although Rakitic is probably on his way out). With the acquisition of De Jong in particular, one could argue that Barça do not need the Serbian international.
Likelihood Rating: 2/10
If a player in Europe ever shows even a glimmer of ability, you can bet Manchester United will be linked to him, and Milinković-Savić is no exception. The difference with this link is, Manchester United might actually need him, especially if Paul Pogba leaves.
United have been crying out for more quality in their midfield for years and Milinković-Savić could be the key to making Manchester United, once again, a dangerous and feared side. His versatility might prove a decisive factor as Ander Herrera is set to leave.
The price tag that Juventus have been quoted (£100m!) might put off the Red Devils, who may need to trim their transfer budget having only qualified for the Europa League last season.
Likelihood Rating: 5/10
Following a disappointing 2018/19 season, Real Madrid have decided to splash the cash. Spending no less than £272m on players such as Eden Hazard and Luka Jović. Zinedine Zidane’s side has been linked with Milinković-Savić and it’s thought his large price tag won’t put off Los Blancos.
Once again there would be question marks over how the Serbian midfielder would fit into this Real Madrid team. They already have plenty of depth in this area and a player might need to be moved on in order to facilitate the arrival of Milinković-Savić. Given his age however, Real might be tempted to buy him now just so he can develop further around world class players. That has definitely seemed to be their transfer policy so far this season.
Likelihood Rating: 6/10
Juventus, like Bayern Munich, seems to have a habit of raiding their division’s lower sides of their best players. It’s what they did with Miralem Pjanic, it’s what they did with Federico Bernadeschi, the list goes on. La Vecchia Signora have been heavily linked with Milinković-Savić over the last two summers and it appears that this time around they might actually pull it off.
The Lazio midfielder could be Maurizio Sarri’s first signing, as it has been reported that Juve are keen to get the deal done and might even offer Leonardo Spinazzola and Cristian Romero as sweeteners.
Milinković-Savić would suit ‘Sarriball’ quite well. His passing and dribbling ability would be valued in Sarri’s possession-based, quick attacking football. He is also somewhat similar to Marek Hamšík (mohawk aside), who thrived under Sarri while he was at Napoli.
Likelihood Rating: 8/10