How Man Utd missed out on long-term transfer target and €100m Serie A star Sergej Milinkovic-Savic

Suraj Radia
Erik ten Hag, Man Utd, 2023/24
© ProShots

Manchester United could have had another big money signing to add to their collection after it was revealed that they had a €100 million offer turned down for one of the standout performers in Serie A in recent years.

One player who United had long-been linked to was Sergej Milinkovic-Savic but, despite years of suggestions that the ex-Lazio star was being pursued, a move ultimately never came to fruition.

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However, Lazio’s former sporting director Igli Tare, who left his role last year, has revealed that United submitted an offer ‘worth over €100m’ but the Italian side ultimately opted against a sale.

“Many untrue things have been said about Milinkovic-Savic, from his farewell on a free transfer to the fact that he didn’t want to stay,” Tare told TV Play.

“The only true thing is that [Lazio president Claudio] Lotito rejected a very important offer, worth over 100 million euros, from Milan and Manchester United. I don’t want to say too much about the lack of sale.

“Even if there was a question of budgets, but Lotito’s choices were to maintain a strong team and respect the promises made to the coach. Let’s not forget that in the year of Covid, Lazio was about to win the Scudetto.”

Sergej Milinkovic-Savic was prolific during his time at Lazio
© ProShots – Sergej Milinkovic-Savic was prolific during his time at Lazio

Milinkovic-Savic regrets after missing out on Premier League move

United’s biggest signings have not fared well, with Paul Pogba, Antony, Harry Maguire and Jadon Sancho amongst their most costly arrivals, so the idea of missing out on another potential costly flop may cause relief to some fans.

However, Milinkovic-Savic’s output from midfield perhaps could have been useful for United, with the Serbian scoring 57 goals in 267 Serie A appearances for Lazio.

The 28-year-old never got his big money move to one of Europe’s elite sides and eventually moved to Saudi Arabia last summer, joining Pro League leaders Al-Hilal for €40m.

But despite a productive start in the Pro League, with eight goals this season, Milinkovic-Savic has reportedly told former teammates that he regrets his decision and would like to return to Lazio, having struggled to settle in Saudi Arabia.

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