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Tottenham duo Antonio Conte and Fabio Paratici are reportedly ‘crazy’ about Lazio midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, who is also believed to be a ‘serious’ target for Manchester United. The Serb could be the subject of a tense transfer battle between the Premier League clubs, with the Red Devils plotting Erik ten Hag’s first summer transfer window.
United are expected to appoint Dutchman Ten Hag very soon. A six-month recruitment process to find the club’s next head coach has concluded with the Old Trafford hierarchy convincing the Ajax boss to replace Ralf Rangnick at the end of the season.
Interim manager Rangnick will step aside for Ten Hag and move into a consultancy role within the club’s complex structure. He could have a hand in helping the 52-year-old acquire his targets.
During discussions with United, Ten Hag is likely to have recommended a shortlist of players who he would like to sign. The 20-times English champions have already been strongly linked with an array of stars who fit Ten Hag’s playing style.
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One of those is Serbia international Milinkovic-Savic. According to Calciomercato, United are ‘serious’ about signing the 27-year-old, but face competition from European rivals Bayern Munich, Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain.
But they could also be braced for a battle with fellow Premier League side Spurs. In a separate report, the same publication claims that boss Conte and managing director of football Paratici are ‘crazy’ about Milinkovic-Savic.
The former Genk ace – who was born in Spain to Serbian parents – has played 288 times for Lazio since joining from the Belgian outfit in 2015. He has scored nine goals and provided as many assists in 31 Serie A appearances this term.
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Milinkovic-Savic will enter the final two years of his contract this summer, making him affordable to the top clubs around Europe. United are reportedly prepared to pay around £50million but Lazio are said to want closer to £65m.
Spurs and United are set for busy summer transfer windows, with new bosses hoping to stamp their mark on their respective squads. Conte replaced Nuno Espirito Santo in November and endured a slightly frustrating first dip into the market in January.
Spurs took until the final days of the window to make their two signings, although the additions of Rodrigo Bentancur and Dejan Kulusevski have propelled the North Londoners into the top four. Conte might have expected a few more incomings though, particularly with Gio Lo Celso, Dele Alli and Tanguy Ndombele all leaving.
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