Newcastle eye move for Milinković-Savić
Newcastle United are seemingly interested in a move for Lazio sensation, Sergej Milinković-Savić, with Magpies boss Eddie Howe looking to bolster his midfield ranks this summer.
What’s the word?
According to Calciomercato, the Tynesiders are one of the clubs that are seemingly in the mix for the Serbian’s signature, with the 27-year-old having yet to commit himself to the Serie A side with just 18 months remaining on his existing deal.
The piece adds that the player has seemingly outlined previously that he would not leave the club on a free transfer, ensuring that a potential deal could be struck for around €60m (£52m) prior to his contract expiry.
The report goes on to add that the St James’ Park outfit have already taken steps regarding a possible approach, having made contact with the player’s agent, Mateja Kezman, on ‘more than one’ occasion.
A new midfield recruit does appear to be on the agenda ahead of next season for Howe and co, with recent reports having claimed that Newcastle are potentially attempting to join the race for Borussia Dortmund sensation, Jude Bellingham.
Signing the teenage superstar, however, may prove difficult amid claims that the 19-year-old could command a fee of around €150m (£133m) if he is to depart the Bundesliga outfit, while it is also believed that Liverpool are currently favourites to sign the England international.
If the Magpies are considering a possible alternative to the former Birmingham City gem, they should seemingly look no further than the aforementioned Milinković-Savić, with the 6 foot 4 “monster” – as lauded by journalist Carlo Garganese – also thriving in Italy at present.
Do Newcastle need to sign a midfielder?
Like Bellingham – who has ten goals and five assists to his name in all competitions this season – the Lazio maestro is also making his presence felt in the final third from his midfield berth, with six goals and eight assists across all fronts so far this term.
A towering and imposing asset in the centre of the park much like the Dortmund ace – who is 6 foot 1 – Milinković-Savić seemingly shares a number of stylistic and statistical similarities to the younger man, as per FBref.
That likeness is illustrated by the fact that the pair are both keen to make an impact at the top end of the pitch, with the Madrid-born ace ranking in the top 5% for touches in the attacking penalty area among his European peers, while Bellingham ranks in the top 6% in that regard.
The duo’s quality in possession is also showcased by the fact that the latter man ranks in the top 9% for progressive passes received, while Milinkovic-Savic ranks in the top 8% for that same metric.
That comparison should well indicate that snapping up the experienced, 39-cap international could prove a potentially astute alternative to that of Bellingham.