Chelsea ready to beat rivals Manchester United to Sergej Milinkovic-Savic signing
Chelsea are monitoring the situation of Lazio’s Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, with a view to a bid if any rival clubs make a move, as there is now a belief by those close to the player that the Serbian international would favour a switch to Stamford Bridge.
The 23-year-old’s fine performances in the World Cup continued a spell where he has caught the attention of some of Europe’s biggest clubs, especially Manchester United and Real Madrid.
United had seemed set to conclude a deal before the tournament in Russia, only for both the complications of his Lazio contract and price to put them off.
Such issues have also so far prevented Chelsea making a move, but Milinkovic-Savic is seen as someone who could potentially be a focal point of a top side in the mould of Eden Hazard.
The 23-year-old scored 12 times in 35 Serie A matches for Lazio last season.
Meanwhile, new boss Maurizio Sarri is confident of keeping Hazard, Thibaut Courtois and Willian at the club.
Belgium internationals Hazard and Courtois have been heavily linked with moves to Real Madrid, while Brazilian Willian is on the radar of United.
The influential trio have yet to return for pre-season training as they recover from the World Cup, meaning new Blues manager Sarri must wait to discuss their futures.
Speaking after his first Chelsea game ended in a 1-0 friendly win over Perth Glory, the Italian coach said: "It's a pleasure to have Courtois, to have Willian, to have Hazard, but it (their futures) doesn't depend on me, not only on me.
"So, we have to wait. I'm confident."