According to the Manchester Evening News, reported via Tuttosport, Juventus have called off their pursuit of Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, clearing the way for United to sign the Serbian.
Glimpses of Milinkovic-Savic’s talent were shown at the World Cup this summer, and anyone who saw him dominate in a Lazio shirt last season will understand Transfermarkt’s £81 million valuation of the powerful midfielder.
As much as they might like to, it’s looking unlikely that the Rome outfit will be able to hang onto their star man this summer.
If Mourinho does get his man, it’ll be fascinating to see how he’ll fit him into the midfield unit at Old Trafford this season.
Throughout Jose Mourinho’s tenure, Manchester United have chopped and changed their midfield set up, switching between 2 and 3 man midfield formations. In any case, Nemanja Matic generally performs the holding role slightly behind either 1 or 2 more attack-minded central midfielders.
There was much talk last season about how a 3 man midfield gets the best out of Paul Pogba, and given how much he cost, getting the best out of the Frenchman is in United’s best interests.
Pogba has often been unfortunate to receive criticism borne out of the misconception that he is a more defensive player than he actually is. There is a danger the same misunderstanding could stick to Miliknkovic-Savic, as the Serb’s size and physicality belies his creative abilities and attacking style.
A midfield containing both Pogba and Milinkovic-Savic would still need a reliable defensive presence, such as Matic, backing them up. However, going forward, this new look United midfield would be a force to be reckoned with, marrying goal threat, creativity and power in one dynamic package.