Arsenal and Newcastle have reportedly held talks with the agent of Lazio midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, but they face an uphill battle to prise him away from Rome.
Milinkovic-Savic has regularly courted interest from the Premier League during his seven-and-a-half-year spell with the Biancocelesti.
And English clubs could come back into the frame this month or at the end of the season, as the 27-year-old enters the final year of his contract in July.
According to Italian journalist (opens in new tab), Arsenal and Newcastle are interested in doing business.
Both clubs spoke to Milinkovic-Savic’s agent this week, the former Chelsea striker Mateja Kezman, to discuss a potential move.
However, Lazio president Claudio Lotito is a notoriously hard bargainer and will do everything to convince the Serbian to stay and pen a new deal.
Milinkovic-Savic is valued at €60m by Transfermarkt (opens in new tab), but Lotito has demanded double that figure in the past and is likely to want a substantial fee should a sale take place now or in the summer.
Roman newspaper Corriere dello Sport (opens in new tab)reported in November that Lazio won’t sell for less than €100m.
The likes of Real Madrid, PSG and Juventus have also been linked with the Serbian star in the past.
A tall and powerful midfielder possessing superb technique and vision, Milinkovic-Savic has scored 63 goals and set up another 58 in 316 appearances since joining Lazio from Genk in 2015.
This season, the Serbian has provided five goals and seven assists in 22 games in all competitions for Maurizio Sarri’s side, who sit fifth in Serie A.
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