Lazio president Claudio Lotito has admitted that he believes it will be harder than ever to keep star midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic this summer.
The midfielder has been heavily linked with a move away from the Stadio Olimpico for the last couple of years, with his stock continuously rising – a scintillating 2017/18 season and a rare Coppa Italia win last season pushing his price tag further and further up.
Europe’s elite have been circling around the Serbia international and could go in for the kill this summer, with the likes of Paris-Saint Germain, Juventus and Manchester United all said to be enquiring about the availability of the multi-faceted midfielder.
Lotito spoke to Il Corriere dello Sport (via Goal) about the situation, saying: “We’ve created a glasshouse, where it’s understood that people can’t be forced to perform their roles in an environment where they feel cramped. Milinkovic has shown sincerity and responsibility, so that isn’t the case with him. He feels good here.
“Last year I managed to resist the assaults of other clubs, but this year I’d have fewer weapons if a different solution was proposed to the player. Let’s say that I used up some of my weapons last year.”
Milinkovic-Savic’s continually improving all-round qualities were on show last season, leading him to be named the inaugural winner of the Serie A midfielder of the year this season.
The likelihood of both PSG and Juventus signing him are relatively low, both sides having already strengthened their midfield in the transfer window; Ander Herrera and Pablo Sarabia going to Paris and Aaron Ramsey and Adrien Rabiot heading to Turin.
That leaves the door open for Manchester United to swoop in, especially if Paul Pogba forces through a departure from Manchester this summer.