Manchester City are believed to be among a multitude of clubs with an interest in signing Lazio and Serbia midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic.
Italian outlet Corriere dello Sport [via Tuttomercatoweb] reported that the Premier League champions are among five clubs chasing his signature, along with Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester United, Juventus and Tottenham.
According to Corriere dello Sport [via Tuttomercatoweb], Manchester City would need to be willing to part with €80-90million (£71.8m-£80.8m) for Lazio to entertain any negotiations for the 24-year-old.
Milinkovic-Savic scored seven goals and provided three assists in 41 games last season, averaging 0.17 goals and 0.07 assists per game.
That was a notable decline on the previous season, when he managed 14 goals and seven assists from 47 appearances.
However, he falls down in terms of his ball retention, recording a passing success rate of just 79.6% last term; and his discipline could be far better, having collected 10 yellow cards and one red in 2018/19.
He is a box-to-box midfielder who can be shifted to holding or attacking midfield roles, similar to Ilkay Gundogan at the Etihad Stadium.
The Germany international scored six goals and provided eight assists in 50 appearances last season, an average of 0.12 goals and 0.16 assists per game.
Gundogan matched Milinkovic-Savic’s interceptions average last term but made far fewer tackles (0.6 per game) and won only 0.8 aerial duels per match. However, it’s worth noting that at 6 ft (1.8m) he is considerably shorter than the Serbia midfielder.
Gundogan has a major edge on the Lazio man in terms of passing accuracy, with a success rate of 90.8%; while he was booked only four times last season, less than half of the number of cards that Milinkovic-Savic received.
Milinkovic-Savic would bring an assured aerial presence to Manchester City’s midfield if they signed him, along with added tenacity in the middle of the park given his fondness for tackling. Of Guardiola’s current squad, Fernandinho had the best aerial duels rate with 2.6 won per game, one fewer than the Serbia midfielder.
However, if Milinkovic-Savic ends up at the Etihad, his passing accuracy and disciplinary record would need to improve drastically. No Manchester City player collected more cards or had a worse passing success rate than he did last season.
He would provide greater tenacity and a better scoring threat than Gundogan in central midfield, but the Germany player’s greater composure on and off the ball suggests that the Lazio man should have to fight hard for his place in the first XI if he signs for the Premier League champions.
Manchester City fans, do you think Milinkovic-Savic would enhance your team’s midfield? Comment below with your views!
Click here to comment on this articleor
Give us feedback on your Football Transfer Tavern experience