West Ham United are eyeing a move for Lazio midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic to bolster their midfield options in the summer transfer window.
What’s the latest on Sergej Milinkovic-Savic to West Ham?
According to the Gazzetta Dello Sport, the Serbian has still given no indication that he is willing to sign beyond his current deal, which expires in 2024 so the Italian outfit may be forced to sell.
The outlet also revealed that the 28-year-old is a primary target for the Hammers hierarchy, who view him as a direct replacement for club captain Declan Rice.
As well as the Irons, Arsenal and Newcastle United have also been earmarked as other potential destinations for the sought-after midfielder.
How would Milinkovic-Savic fit in at West Ham?
The £100k-per-week has been at the Biancocelesti since 2015 and has racked up 332 appearances and registered 125 goal contributions.
The 41-cap international currently has the highest rating (7.28) of any Lazio player and has recorded eight goals and six assists in 27 league appearances as his side sits second in Serie A, as per WhoScored.
A creative, goal-scoring workhorse is something that the Hammers have desperately lacked this campaign and is part of the reason for their fall out of the top half of the table.
One of the main culprits for West Ham’s disappointing season has been the suspect form of Tomas Soucek, who has struggled to assert any kind of influence. Milinkovic-Savic would be a monumental upgrade and outshines the Czech in almost every department.
The £53m-rated engine ranks in the top 18% for successful take-ons, the top 29% for progressive carries, and the top 34% for progressive carries per 90. Meanwhile, Soucek has performed dismally in these areas and only resides in the bottom 1%, 6%, and 8% for the same metrics.
This brutally exposes the Hammers man’s inability to construct attacking sequences of play or orchestrate threatening counters.
The 6 foot 4 titan has previously been lauded as a “monster” by sections of the Italian media, as his sublime box-to-box style of play has not gone unnoticed.
This transfer has the potential to be an extremely shrewd piece of business for the Irons. The Lazio captain would be available for a cheaper price as his contract is due to expire next year so his parent club will want to avoid losing one of their prize assets on a free.
It would be an extraordinary coup as Milinkovic-Savic would serve as an upgrade on the current crop of midfielders and would go some of the way to replacing Rice.