Manchester City are one of three Premier League clubs to have had scouts watch Lazio midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic during their recent win over Genoa, the Mirror reports.
Savic, 23, is one of Europe’s most highly-rated young midfielders and was linked with moves to Manchester United and Real Madrid in the summer, but Lazio’s huge price tag put clubs off moving for him.
The Serb is still on the radar of many top sides though, and it is reported that City, Liverpool and Tottenham had representatives watch as Savic scored one and assisted another in Lazio’s 4-1 win over Genoa on September 23.
The problem for any suitor is Lazio president Claudio Lotito, who believes Savic is worth a world record fee for a midfielder – and more than Paul Pogba cost Manchester United.
“Sergej is the best young midfielder in the world and he has a great margin for improvement,” Lotito told Corriere della Sera in August. “However, so far, no one has come forward.
“I haven’t received any offers from Milan or Juventus, let alone from Real Madrid and Manchester United. I certainly won’t push to sell him, but if you ask me how much he is worth, then I need to remind you that last year I turned down €110m.
“How much was Pogba sold for to Manchester United? Then Milinkovic-Savic is worth even more, because he’s much better. Now rest assured, I’m not interested in loan formulas or technical counterparts.”
City have had their eyes on the midfield powerhouse for a long time, with a scouting presence confirmed to have been at Lazio vs. Napoli to watch him in September 2017.
Savic isn’t the typical ‘No. 6’ Pep Guardiola is currently in search of, though has played a deeper role before, and that may not be the only profile of midfielder City target in the next year or two with David Silva in the last years of his City career and Ilkay Gundogan’s contract, which runs until 2020, still yet to be renewed.