Lazio midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic is a wanted man in the English Premier League, and despite recently putting pen to paper for a five-year contract extension at the Serie A club, he remains firmly on the radars of the top-flight’s bigwigs.
And while his contract renewal was supposed to pour cold water on the Premier League links, the presence of Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho in the stands during Serbia’s 2-0 win over Montenegro on Thursday set tongues wagging again.
Although it is believed that the Portuguese might have been scouting 20-year-old defender Nikola Milenkovic, Milinkovic-Savic was quick to admit his happiness at seeing Mourinho at the game.
“I’m a Lazio player, but it’s obvious that I was pleased that a coach of his stature came to see the game,” the midfielder said post-game
“I read a little bit everywhere he was here at the stadium to see me play, but that does not mean anything. Maybe he was not here for me, but for someone else.”
Having the impression that Mourinho himself came to scout him will surely delight Milinkovic-Savic, and it surely gives Manchester United a huge boost in their pursuit of the midfielder.
Both Tottenham and Liverpool surely are surely aware of the Serb’s qualities, and there is no doubt he can help improve their midfield immensely.
However, Mourinho’s personal scouting might have tipped the balance in the Red Devils’ favour given the number of suitors keen on Milinkovic-Savic’s signature.
With Spurs not sure of the future of Mousa Dembele, and Liverpool in need of a midfielder who can transition effortlessly between holding and attacking midfield, a tussle for Milinkovic-Savic could be on the cards next summer.
Going by the midfielder’s latest comments, Manchester United appear to be in pole position for his signature.
While he has only scored once and assisted once thus far this term in seven league games – a far cry from his return of 14 goals and eight assists last term – Milinkovic-Savic remains a top quality, and suitors are surely still hot on his heels.