Arsenal could pay up to £56m for Milinkovic-Savic
Arsenal are prepared to make an improved bid for Lazio midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, according to reports in Italy.
The Gunners are eyeing a new central midfielder this summer, and they have been heavily linked with Leicester City’s Youri Tielemans over recent weeks.
According to the report, the north London giants have failed with an opening offer of £47 million, but they are set to return with a fresh bid for the Serbian international.
Milinkovic-Savic has two years left on his contract and the Italian outlet suggests they are ready to cash-in if Arsenal put £56m on the table.
Arsenal are aiming to add more creativity in their midfield. Thomas Partey and Granit Xhaka have impressed with their defensive involvements, but neither are goal contributors.
The same can be said about Mohamed Elneny and Albert Lokonga. Lucas Torreira and Ainsley Maitland-Niles are the other central midfielders in the squad, but are likely to be sold.
Milinkovic-Savic would provide a huge upgrade in that aspect after another stunning season at Lazio. The Serbia international bagged 11 goals and 12 assists from 47 outings.
Defensively, he was also solid with 1.9 tackles and 0.8 interceptions per game while winning nearly three aerial duels. He can be considered as a quality box-to-box midfielder.
Compared to Tielemans (valued at £30m+), he will cost a higher fee, but Arsenal would be getting someone in the prime of his career, who does not have significant weaknesses.
The signing of Gabriel Jesus from Manchester City was a big statement, and luring Milinkovic-Savic ahead of potential suitors such as Juventus would be quite an achievement.
With the huge outlay, Arsenal may look to recoup funds through the sales of Torreira and Maitland-Niles. With the World Cup around the corner, Xhaka may also contemplate his future.
The Swiss will most likely drop down the pecking order at Arsenal if Milinkovic-Savic arrives.
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