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AC Milan Deny Report of €40M Deal for Lazio's Sergej Milinkovic-Savic

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured ColumnistAugust 17, 2018

ESSEN, GERMANY - AUGUST 12: Sergej Milinkovic-Savic of Lazio Rom gestures during the friendly match between Borussia Dortmund and Lazio Rom on August 12, 2018 in Essen, Germany. (Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images)
TF-Images/Getty Images

AC Milan have denied a report that the club is on the verge of completing a deadline-day move for sought-after Lazio midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic.

Milan technical director Leonardo said "there was never a negotiation" for Milinkovic-Savic, via Football Italia.

"I talked to his agent, [Mateja] Kerman, but we've had a relationship for many years," Leonardo added. "There was never a negotiation, partly because we knew it was something that isn't feasible right now.

"He costs a lot and doesn't fit with our parameters. Our operations were all linked to exits and it wasn't easy."

Earlier Friday, Italian business newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore (h/t Chris Wright of ESPN FC) reported the Rossoneri had agreed a deal worth €40 million (£36 million) with Lazio that would see the Serbia international move to the San Siro on loan for a season with an option to buy.

The deadline for Serie A clubs to sign new players is 7 p.m. BST on Friday.

If Milan could have captured Milinkovic-Savic, they would have pulled off a major coup, as Manchester United, Real Madrid and Juventus have all been linked with the 23-year-old.

Calciomercato.com recently reported that Milan's offer to Lazio for Milinkovic-Savic is structured in such a way as to comply with financial fair play rules and could culminate in the Rossoneri shelling out a further €70 million (£63 million) to sign him permanently next summer.

Milinkovic-Savic enjoyed a breakout campaign in 2017-18, producing consistently good performances that led to his linking with some of Europe's biggest clubs.

He netted 12 goals and provided three assists in 35 Serie A appearances and showed a range of attributes boasted by only the most complete central midfielders.

Squawka Football @Squawka

@harryedwards16 Sergej Milinkovic-Savic is the only player for Lazio this season to win over 50 tackles and created over 40 chances: Useful at both ends of the pitch. 💪 https://t.co/xBMr2qQjLC

WhoScored.com @WhoScored

As #SRB gear up to take on #CRC, @martinlaurence7 is looking for Lazio star and Manchester United target Sergej Milinkovic-Savic to live up to the hype today -- https://t.co/Dk9c6kO0lH #WorldCup https://t.co/fuCw0WPX8m

The Serbia international would be a fantastic addition to Milan's engine room and join a squad that has already been bolstered this summer by Gonzalo Higuain's addition.

Milinkovic-Savic's signing would have topped off a brilliant summer transfer window for the Italian giants and give Milan fans hope of finally returning to Serie A's top four for the first time since 2013—and perhaps even competing for the Scudetto. 

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