Manchester United target Milinković-Savić as De Jong’s alternative
by Oviri Kelvin, Sports Editor, Abuja
Manchester United are growing impatient about snapping Barcelona midfielder, Frenkie de Jong, and have identified Lazio’s Sergej Milinković-Savić as a replacement for the Dutch.
De Jong, a prime target for the Red Devils has refused to honour a move to Old Trafford despite being assured that the team will be built around him.
Snippets from Spain revealed that the 25-year-old has distanced himself from a move to reunite with coach Erik ten Hag as a result of United’s failure to qualify for Champions League football.
Although the 27-year-old Serbian has a contract with Lazio until 2024, the midfielder, who is different in his style of play for being more attacking-minded than the Dutch, has scored 58 goals in 294 appearances for Lazio.
The player joined Lazio from KRC Genk seven years ago to net 48 Serie A goals. Reportedly, the Italian club will not hold back if a club reach 70 million euros.
If he is sold for that price, the Serbian will become the highest sale by Lazio surpassing Christian Vieri’s 46.48 million euro move to Inter Milan in 1999.
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Meanwhile, Barcelona President Joan Laporta has reiterated that the club’s stand not to allow him to leave depends on when they have a formal discussion to find out what he truly wants.
Laporta yesterday, after the Catalans defeated Real Madrid 1-0 in a Clasico in the USA, where the Dutch was a substitute, expressed that De Jong is valuable to the club despite receiving a lot of offers.
He said, “He’s our player, we like him a lot.
“We’ve received some offers but we’re not accepting them at the moment, we want to talk to him and find out exactly what he wants,” Laporta claimed.
A report from England said that Laporta is not opposed to the move personally with the club consenting to Manchester United’s 72 million pound offer for the club.
Erik ten Hag plans to use a 4-3-3 formation system in Manchester United and De Jong or Milinkovic-Savic would be a perfect blend.