Manchester United Transfer News: Sergej Milinkovic-Savic/Juventus Talks Rumoured

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistApril 21, 2018

ROME, ROMA - APRIL 05:  Sergej Milinkovic Savic of SS Lazio celebrates a winner game after the UEFA Europa League quarter final leg one match between Lazio Roma and RB Salzburg at Stadio Olimpico on April 5, 2018 in Rome, Italy.  (Photo by Marco Rosi/Getty Images)
Marco Rosi/Getty Images

Manchester United look set to fall behind in the hunt to sign Lazio maestro Sergej Milinkovic-Savic following reports Juventus are poised to open talks to sign the Serb.

Nicola Balice of Calciomercato.com reported the two clubs will meet next week, and Milinkovic-Savic is expected to feature highly in their discussions.

The 23-year-old has emerged as Serie A's most in-demand talent this season, but the Red Devils may struggle to convince him of a switch to the Premier League if Juventus make enough early progress.

It was reported earlier in the year Milinkovic-Savic could be sold for €70 million (£61.5 million), but SportMediaset recently reported Lazio informed his suitors he'll cost more than double that (h/t Sport Witness):

Sport Witness @Sport_Witness

Third time lucky. 😂 Italian claim that five clubs (Man United, City, PSG, Madrid, Juve) want Milinkovic-Savic but for around €70m. Lazio want €150m and not a euro less. Italian club described as the most expensive shop in Italy, thanks to Lotito. https://t.co/GNaM67rkWX

Lazio have benefited hugely from his evolution into a box-to-box superstar this term, in particular, displaying the kind of tenacity and consistency many at United may have hoped to see from record signing Paul Pogba.

Because Pogba has at times underwhelmed in his last two seasons at United, there remains some indecision regarding manager Jose Mourinho's midfield, to which Milinkovic-Savic could be a fine addition.

The trouble could come in attempting to fit Pogba and Milinkovic-Savic into the same midfield core, as both share a host of similar attributes and might limit the team if it would inhibit either's ability to shine.

Italian football writer Adam Digby recommended Juventus go to great lengths to lure their target as a priority signing this summer:

Adam Digby @Adz77

Imo it needs multiple summers of not losing their best players & investing heavily like #Juventus did in Higuain/Pjanic. This year, pay whatever it takes to sign Milenkovic-Savic https://t.co/zOIe32AzBA

The Bianconeri have formed a habit of cherry-picking the best talents in Serie A in a similar fashion that Bayern Munich do in the Bundesliga. Gonzalo Higuain, Miralem Pjanic and Paulo Dybala all joined from domestic rivals in recent years.

United have been one of the most feverishly speculated clubs associated with a move for Milinkovic-Savic, but the Eagles star has been professional in maintaining his resolve, per Yahoo Sport UK:

Yahoo Sport UK @YahooSportUK

Milinkovic-Savic on #MUFC rumours: “Everyone is telling their own version, but I’m not thinking about my future at all... Now that I have recovered I can concentrate on what is important: my performance and results with Lazio." 💪 https://t.co/2PhFTtXT98

Juve can offer a boost in title prospects both foreign and domestic with a relatively short move to Turin, while the Premier League transition that comes along with undoubtedly bigger wages in England is a risk for any talent.

It seems Mourinho's side will be making up for lost time if they're to pursue a deal for Milinkovic-Savic this summer, as Juventus look to begin charting their course to what would be another Serie A coup.