Barcelona have joined the race to sign Lazio midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, who is also a target for Manchester United and Juventus.
The Serbian was strongly linked with a move away from the Stadio Olimpico after Lazio missed out on a place in the Champions League last season, but despite strong interest from some of Europe's biggest clubs, he stayed with La Albiceleste.
Barca following Milinkovic-Savic closely https://t.co/7H7EmfjViY— SPORT English (@Sport_EN) 21 October 2018
Not only that, he recently signed a contract extension keeping him at Lazio until 2023, so it would require a huge fee to prise him away, particularly as there is no release clause in his new deal.
Milinkovic-Savic was actually born in Catalonia, just two hours west of Barcelona in the city of Lleida, where his father played professional basketball.
It is reported that Manchester United also had a scout in attendance at Parma. The Red Devils have maintained their interest since the summer and manager Jose Mourinho travelled to watch Serbia play against Montenegro during the recent international break.
Milinkovic-Savic: “I’m a Lazio player, but it’s obvious that I was pleased that a coach of his stature (Mourinho) came to see the game. I read a bit everywhere he was here at the stadium to see me play. Maybe he wasn’t here for me, but for someone else.” #mufc [Calciomercato]— United Xtra (@utdxtra) 12 October 2018
Milinkovic-Savic played the full 90 minutes on Saturday. He failed to score or assist but Lazio won 2-0 thanks to two goals in the last ten minutes.
This is Milinkovic-Savic's fourth season with Lazio since signing from Genk in 2015. In that time, the 23-year-old has scored 24 goals and provided 20 assists.