Newcastle United

Newcastle: PIF leading race for Milinkovic-Savic

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Newcastle United have held talks with the agent of Lazio midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic ahead of a potential summer transfer move to England, according to a new report.

What’s the latest on Newcastle’s interest in Milinkovic-Savic?

Milinkovic-Savic’s current contract at Lazio is set to expire at the end of the 2023-34 season, and his situation is being monitored by a host of Europe’s elite clubs with the midfielder reportedly in no rush to sign an extension.

Now, it has been revealed that the Magpies are ahead in the competition to sign the Serbian star, as per a report from Gazzetta Dello Sport.

The report suggests that the north-east giant have made initial contact with his agent, Mateja Kezman, to discuss the possibility of a summer transfer.

Why would Milinkovic-Savic be the perfect partner for Bruno Guimaraes?

Lazio's Sergej Milinkovic-Savic in action with Atalanta's Marten de Roon

The Magpies could add a real attacking force to their midfield if they manage to secure the signature of Milinkovic-Savic.

The 28-year-old machine has put up incredibly impressive offensive numbers in the past year, ranking in the top 2% for non-penalty goals per 90 and 3% for assists per 90, when compared to positional peers over the past year.

This form is no flash in the pain either, as during the 2021/22 season, Milinkovic-Savic managed a stunning 22 goal contributions in just 37 games.

The 6 foot 2 unit, who is currently valued at around £31m by FootballTransfers, has been dubbed a “monster” by Italian football journalist Carlo Gargonese as a result of his dominating performances.

This campaign he has averaged a Sofascore match rating of 7.21 in Serie A – a figure that’s higher than any current Newcastle midfielder this season.

The man he could partner in the centre of Newcastle’s midfield – Guimaraes – is a fantastic, all-action player who ranks in the top 7% for successful take-ons and 14% for tackles, but one who does not offer the type of goalscoring and goal-creating output the Serb has done at Lazio.

The combination of the physically imposing Milinkovic-Savic and the diminutive battler Guimaraes would give Newcastle boss Eddie Howe an ideal balance of defensive solidity and attacking threat in his midfield, which would be perfectly set up for Champions League football should the Magpies finish the job and qualify this season.

The £75k-per-week star also offers a great deal more offensive threat than fellow reported transfer target Scott McTominay who has also played far less football over recent seasons.

Milinkovic-Savic would arrive as a fully established, elite midfielder who has proven his abilities at the highest level over several years and who would form part of a formidable midfield as the Magpies enter the next stage of their development under the ownership of PIF.

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