Sergej Milinkovic-Savic’s stance on joining Man Utd as second choice to Frenkie de Jong

Van de Beek determined to prove himself again under new Man Utd boss ten Hag

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Manchester United have reignited their interest in Lazio midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic as their hopes of luring Frenkie de Jong from Barcelona continue to stall. But while Lazio are willing to sell this summer if the price is right, Milinkovic-Savic may not be keen on an Old Trafford switch.

United have agreed a £72million deal with Barcelona for De Jong but are yet to convince the 25-year-old to reunite with Erik ten Hag. The La Liga giants owing him £17m in deferred salary payments also jeopardises the transfer and could force Ten Hag to look elsewhere.

And according to Calciomercato, Milinkovic-Savic has re-emerged on United’s radar after years of being linked with a move. The Red Devils are said to be turning their attention toward the box-to-box Serbia international as De Jong’s arrival grows ever-unlikely.

Milinkovic-Savic has recently ‘come back into fashion’, with United forced to search for alternatives, despite Ten Hag’s public suggestion that it’s De Jong or nobody this summer. However, the report claims he isn’t pushing for a transfer and won’t force an exit from the Serie A outfit if United come knocking.

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Movements are ongoing behind the scenes, and if the 20-time English champions launch a concrete pursuit, it would be ‘complicated’ for Lazio to hold onto their prize asset. I Biancocelesti value Milinkovic-Savic at £60m, making him a slightly cheaper proposition than De Jong.

And with less than two years remaining on his current contract, there is a feeling that the time could be right to say farewell to the 27-year-old. United will likely only make a move if their hopes of signing De Jong are dashed completely, with the Dutchman standing as Ten Hag’s clear priority target throughout the entire transfer window.

Ten Hag has focused on revolutionising how effective United are with the ball at players’ feet and has eyed midfield reinforcements to help that. The Red Devils have welcomed Christian Eriksen on a free transfer but still require a star capable of operating as a holding midfielder, and De Jong fits the bill.

On Sunday morning, club president Joan Laporta and manager Xavi Hernandez once again publicly insisted their desire to keep him at the Nou Camp. But reports suggest the private stance is different, and their acceptance of United’s latest offer indicates the same and is likely why the pursuit is yet to be called off.

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