With the imminent exit of Marouane Fellaini looming large, Man United boss Jose Mourinho needs to be quick to find a midfielder of his stature.
Critics may have a different opinion, but Fellaini has improved a lot as a midfielder, and is particularly effective for the purpose he is sent for.
Fellaini’s contract expires at the end of this season, and he has seemingly shown reluctance to stay with the Red Devils. Should he decide to leave United for free or leave as early as the January transfer window, United need to find an able replacement.
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The news, however, is that the work for that has already started. The man tipped to replace Fellaini is Lazio’s Sergej Milinkovic-Savic. Mourinho is said to be a huge fan of the Serbian, who is 6’4, and is just 22 years old.
If reports are to be believed, a United scout was present in the stands of Sampdoria, where Lazio registered a 2-1 win away from home. To add to the credentials of the midfielder, he scored the equaliser in the 79th minute, and then helped his team notch up an important win, with Felipe Caicedo scoring the winner in the 90th minute.
The Premier League is a very physically demanding league. Given the youngster’s physical presence, he could prove to be an asset to the team.
The fact that the Serbian international has started attracting interest from bigger clubs is something that Lazio are aware of. The club officials probably know that it would not be long before other clubs start putting bids in for the Serb.
Lazio, however, would not let their star go for cheap. It is being rumoured that they will not accept a bid of anything less than €100m. But if reports are to be believed, then Man United are willing to match the bid and land the youngster latest by the summer of 2018.
Il Messaggero reports that the Serie A club has already paid Genk €9m of training compensation in order to cancel out a clause that would have seen the Belgian side receive 50% of any future fee, seeing the monetary potential the youngster could generate.
Given the kind of incentives the Red Devils would likely have to offer, it remains to be seen whether the 22-year old Serb would reject any such interest if United do table one for him.
With other big money summer signings tipped for the likes of Antoine Griezmann, it is going to be a test of whether Mourinho’s interest and patience is sustained in the central midfielder.
To mildly analyse, it is not a bad start for the scouts to track the progress of the youngster at these early stages. With so many misses and hits in the United transfer history, what remains to be seen is how this transfer story concludes!
Written by Sourish Saha
Law graduate by degree, pursued football business masters from Brussels, Belgium. Sports enthusiast. Love reading articles to do with politics and sports. In my free time, I like to cook some times, or watch travel shows on television. Opinionated about football but flexible and open to constructive criticism.