Juventus are planning to make a serious bid to sign Lazio midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, possibly as early as January 2023. The Serbian has been a long-standing target for the Bianconeri, dating back to his early years in the Italian capital.
La Gazzetta dello Sport report this morning that Juve are ‘serious’ about signing the player this time round.
The launch of this ambitious effort is the most relevant result of a meeting that followed Juve’s 2-0 loss to Milan at the weekend.
The Bianconeri top brass, in reaffirming confidence in Max Allegri, also took note of the need to raise the team’s technical level to try to get a season that began with too many missteps, back on track.
With medical staff keeping a close eye on the recoveries of Federico Chiesa and Paul Pogba, Juve have come to the realization that at least one quality player is needed in the midfield department, where the biggest gaps have emerged in recent months.
Add to this the fact that Adrien Rabiot’s contract is expiring, and renewal negotiations appear complex, and Angel Di Maria himself is known to have arrived in Turin with a short-lived project.
In short, Juve have put into account that they have to anticipate the timing in order to secure a high-level technical player and know just as well that it will not be easy to convince Claudio Lotito to deprive himself of his highest quality player.
By the same token, there is a pact of honour between the Biancoceleste president, the player and his agent Mateja Kezman: A green light if a first-rate proposal arrives. Of course, the Lazio patron would prefer to sell him abroad, so he would never have to face him on the pitch again.
But last summer, no one came forward for Milinkovic, despite another excellent season, and that fatally affects the price, considering that he is about to turn 28 and his contract expires in 20 months. Until a year ago, Lotito was asking €100 million for the 28-year-old.
With the World Cup around the corner, Juve are expected to gear up to present an offer that must start at €50 million and go up to €60 million with bonuses: a compulsory base to tempt Lazio. So some sacrifice will be necessary: perhaps that of Weston McKennie, who still has many admirers in the Bundesliga.