Manchester United’s recruitment drive has suffered a blow following reports that long-term target Sergej Milinkovic-Savic is closing in on a bumper new contract at Lazio.
The 24-year-old has been on United’s radar for some time and the Red Devils were believed to be lining him up as a possible summer replacement for Paul Pogba, who was wanted by Real Madrid.
It is understood that Paris Saint-Germain, Juventus and Inter Milan have also been keeping tabs on his situation but Lazio have now stepped up their bid to offer him fresh terms.
According to Il Messaggero, Milinkovic-Savic, who was born in Spain but plays his international football for Serbia, is in line for an increased salary and hefty €100m-plus release clause.
It is also claimed that the extension would only be for another year as the star’s current deal is set to run until June 2023.
Milinkovic-Savic will be in line for hefty bonuses should he commit to the performance-based contract which includes extra money for goals and assists.
Lazio president Claudio Lotito had previously revealed that they would be open to the sale of their star player – if they receive an offer that meets their valuation.
Lotito said: “Milinkovic has a good rapport with the club, just as the club has with him.
“If some offers were to be presented, we’d evaluate them with a spirit of collaboration that looks after the interests of the club and the player. We’ll make the decisions that are best for everyone.”
However the player ultimately remained at the Stadio Olimpico and later admitted that a move to Old Trafford was never on the cards.
He said: “I never said I wanted to leave Lazio, I feel good here.
“I never mentioned a possible transfer to Manchester United and it was just paper talk. New commitments await me with Lazio.”