Report: Arsenal plot £42m-plus bid for 'astonishingly gifted' midfielder who plays like Yaya Toure
Arsenal are reportedly prioritising a new central midfielder as well as a new centre-forward in the summer transfer window.
Youri Tielemans is said to be the Gunners’ top target in the middle of the park, but there have been links with other players too.
Now, Corriere dello Sport has claimed that Arsenal have once again set their sights on Lazio’s Sergej Milinkovic-Savic.
The Italian outlet claims the Gunners have ‘tried in the past’ and ‘returned to the charge’ in May.
Arsenal are reportedly willing to ‘break the €50m barrier’ (£42.7m) and ‘maybe get close to €60m’ (£51.2m).
However, Corriere notes that the Gunners aren’t in the Champions League, suggesting this could be a problem for Milinkovic-Savic.
As well as the Gunners, Newcastle United reportedly ‘put themselves forward’ earlier this year.
Meanwhile, Manchester United were previously linked with Milinkovic-Savic, but that path is now ‘lukewarm’.
‘If he must leave Lazio, he’ll do so for a top club’, concluded the article.
‘One of the best box-to-box midfielders in the world’
Milinkovic-Savic would be a tricky target for Arsenal to land, but if they do so, it would be a major coup for the Gunners.
The 27-year-old is a midfielder of the highest calibre who could play for the world’s best clubs.
In 2020, 90Min deemed him ‘one of the best box-to-box midfielders in the world’.
‘Despite his considerable size, however, the midfielder is astonishingly gifted with the ball at his feet,’ they added.
‘Given that his unique talents are well-documented around the world, opponents unsurprisingly double – or sometimes treble up – on the star, hoping to starve him of service and reduce his impact on proceedings.
‘But these attempts are utterly futile. In the blink of an eye, Milinkovic-Savic can make the ball disappear like a magician, hypnotising his markers with lightning footwork before popping it off to a teammate to kickstart an attack.
‘And more often than not, he’ll manage to make a forward pass, even if he finds himself facing his own goal. Athletic stuff for a big man.
‘Milinkovic-Savic also provides an impenetrable shield ahead of his grateful defence, and he has perfected his judgement and timing of a tackle over the last three seasons, now allowing him to dispossess his opponents with precision and incision.
‘And my word, he’s a strong boy. There’s a reason they call him the Sergeant, after all.’
There have been comparisons with Zinedine Zidane, but Milinkovic-Savic sees himself ‘more as a Yaya Toure’ (Onefootball).
Last season, Milinkovic-Savic registered a staggering 22 goal contributions (11 goals, 11 assists) from 37 Serie A games.
He has also lifted three trophies with Lazio – 1 Coppa Italia and 2 Italian Super Cups.
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