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Real Madrid Transfer News: Latest Rumours on Sergej Milinkovic-Savic

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistMarch 3, 2018

Lazio's Serbian midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic controls the ball during the Italian Serie A football match AC Milan vs Lazio at the San Siro stadium in Milan on January 31, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / MIGUEL MEDINA        (Photo credit should read MIGUEL MEDINA/AFP/Getty Images)
MIGUEL MEDINA/Getty Images

Lazio will reportedly command a fee of "at least" €150 million (£134 million) before agreeing to sell prize midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic.

The Serbia international has had a breakthrough season in the Italian capital, and according to Il Tempo (h/t Tom Coast of Sport Witness), Lazio are ready to play hardball in regards to any interest.

The Italian newspaper said the sum is the minimum Lazio would accept for the 23-year-old, although they will not seek to sell Milinkovic-Savic until after the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, when his value may escalate even further.

According to Marca (h/t Football Italia), Real Madrid are considering a possible summer move for the player, although there is said to be a lot of interest in him from the Premier League. Manchester United have been tipped as possible suitors along with Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool.

The Lazio star has attracted such illustrious interest because of his sparkling form over the last two seasons for the team.

As these numbers from OptaPaolo show, he's adept at making big contributions from midfield:

OptaPaolo @OptaPaolo

9 - Sergej Milinkovic-Savic is the youngest midfielder to have scored at least nine goals in Top-5 european leagues 2017/18. Youth. #SassuoloLazio

Milinkovic-Savic has improved this season in getting forward and scoring goals, but there are many more attributes to his play.

The multifaceted nature of his game makes Milinkovic-Savic so special. His tackling is strong, his technique is excellent and his physique allows him to boss opposition players in physical duels. He's been the driving force behind what has been a strong season for Lazio.

Milinkovic-Savic has been excellent for Lazio so far this season.
Milinkovic-Savic has been excellent for Lazio so far this season.Paolo Bruno/Getty Images

Central midfielders who can thrive in many different areas are rare in the modern game, and football writer Liam Canning believes United should be at the head of a possible scramble to sign him:

Liam Canning @LiamPaulCanning

The more I watch Sergej Milinković-Savić, the more impressed I become. Can literally do it all as a midfielder. Going to cost an absolute fortune this summer, but Manchester United have to be in the race for him. Only 23, too, top talent.

Madrid would be an intriguing option. Although Casemiro, Luka Modric and Toni Kroos have been the midfield bedrock upon which the last two UEFA Champions League successes have been founded, Milinkovic-Savic would add something different to Zinedine Zidane's side.

His ability to burst forward from a withdrawn role is not something Madrid can call on. Plus, with Modric now 32, it's important Los Blancos begin to think about landing another midfield linchpin.

As for United, Bleacher Report's Gianni Verschueren is unsure whether Milinkovic-Savic would be able to operate in the same setup as someone like Paul Pogba:

Gianni Verschueren @ReverschPass

You can't just plug talented players into a squad and assume it'll work like FIFA. Player profiles matter. You need players that complement each other, who work well together. Pogba and SMS are basically copies of each other. They both need the ball, constantly, to be effective

While the suggested fee may seem like an extraordinary amount, Milinkovic-Savic may be worth that type of outlay given his age, talent and overall potential. United and Madrid are among the minority of teams that would be able to afford spending that type of cash.

The World Cup is a tremendous stage for the game's finest players to showcase their talents, and if Milinkovic-Savic carries his Serie A form into the tournament, then he has the potential to light up Russia.

While doing so may boost his price, it would make it even tougher for Lazio to keep their star man going into 2018-19.

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