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Reports: Manchester clubs to battle it out for Serie A star

Akshaj Sinha
508   //    24 Feb 2018, 22:46 IST

Manchester City v Manchester United - Premier League
Guardiola and Mourinho are set to cross paths in the transfer market

What's the rumour?

Manchester City and Manchester United are set to face off again, but this time in the transfer window. They are set to battle it out for Lazio midfielder, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic according to the reports of The Sun.

The Serbian youngster has a contract in the Italian capital until 2022 and as per his agent, he does not have a release clause in his deal. It is believed that Lazio will set an asking price in excess of €50 million.

In case you didn't know

Milinkovic-Savic is a versatile midfielder who has the ability to play both in the heart of midfield and as a No.10. Having joined Lazio in the summer of 2015 aged just 20, it didn't take him much time to get straight into the first team.

He started off his career at his new club primarily as a substitute, but with solid performances he earned a starting role, making 35 appearances in all competitions.

The following season was no different and the Serbian didn't disappoint. He became a guaranteed starter in the squad and contributed with nine assists in Serie A.

The heart of the matter

Savic's stint in Rome has seen him alternating his roles as a central and an attacking midfielder. However, this season the 22-year-old has seen him being primarily employed in the centre of midfield.

He is having his best season at the Italian club, contributing with nine goals and three assists thus far.

Spal v SS Lazio - Serie A
Milinkovic is an excellent ball-playing midfielder

His strengths are his passing, long shots and dribbling. He is a good asset in the air as he wins the aerial battles with the height advantage that he possesses. His link-up play is another merit of his game and he likes to layoff passes for his teammates.


This campaign, he averages 2 tackles, 2.5 shots, 1.6 key passes, 1.7 dribbles per game and winning 2.3 aerial duels per game. He is also not afraid of making challenges and committing fouls, having received 6 yellow cards in the league.

Rumour probability/rating: 8/10

Both Manchester City and Manchester United will be looking to reinforce their midfield position.

Guardiola will look for a long time investment and replacement for the 32-year-old Fernandinho. At the same time, City do not have much depth in midfield except Ilkay Gundogan, Fabian Delph and Yaya Toure is destined to leave in the summer

As per United, the future of Paul Pogba looks uncertain with the possibility of him leaving the club growing each day.

It has been that Serbian international has been eyed as a replacement for the retiring Michael Carrick and Mourinho will look to partner him with his fellow countryman, Nemanja Matic.


Author's take

Milinkovic-Savic will be in high demand in the summer. Both the Manchester clubs will have to table a huge money offer for the Serbian in order to tempt Lazio into selling. He is a midfielder who is built ideally for the style of play in English football. He is tall, wins headers and will provide the defensive protection for either team in front of the back four.

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