Report: Sergej Milinkovic-Savic 'Would Favour' Transfer to ChelseaJuly 25, 2018
Chelsea are reportedly intensifying their pursuit of Lazio midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, who is said to "favour a switch to Stamford Bridge" this summer.
The Serbia star has been associated with just about every major European club, and Miguel Delaney of The Independent wrote that Chelsea are ready to outbid any rival club.
Delaney mentioned Manchester United's previous interest in the player, as they appeared to come to an agreement with Lazio prior to the 2018 FIFA World Cup, only for the move to unravel over price.
According to Delaney, the belief that Milinkovic-Savic would choose Chelsea above other suitors has come from those close to the player.
Chelsea have already recruited one name to their midfield from Serie A this summer after new manager Maurizio Sarri enticed former Napoli charge Jorginho to join him at Stamford Bridge.
In him, Sarri has a passing technician and a defensive specialist with N'Golo Kante, leaving Milinkovic-Savic to contribute as a more imposing dribbling maestro in the event Chelsea can pull off a deal.
The 23-year-old has spent the past three years developing at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome but has kicked on these last two seasons and is regarded as a superbly rounded midfielder, per OptaPaolo:
Delaney also mentioned the uncertain futures of Eden Hazard and Thibaut Courtois, who are both linked with Real Madrid but might be more likely to stay if a player of Milinkovic-Savic's quality arrives at the club.
The player has shown steady progress and growing prominence in Rome over the past three seasons, scoring a career high of 14 goals in 2017-18 after netting only 10 times in his first two terms in Italy combined.
But it's Milinkovic-Savic's contribution to the build-up and how he might help a striker such as Alvaro Morata that Chelsea would be investing in, and Football Radars pointed to evidence of his provisional potential:
However, without the allure of UEFA Champions League football this season, Chelsea may struggle to attract one of Europe's most wanted players, given the standard of clubs linked with his signature.
Nevertheless, Chelsea appear willing to meet Lazio's financial demands if their competition makes a move on Milinkovic-Savic.