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Chelsea thrown into the Sergej Milinkovic-Savic mixer

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Silly Season now truly underway for Chelsea as well.

SS Lazio v Atalanta BC - Serie A Photo by Paolo Bruno/Getty Images

Lazio’s Sergej Milinković-Savić is one of the most coveted players in this summer’s transfer market, with the 23-year-old prototypical modern midfielder — skill, size, strength, speed, stamina, he’s got it all — commanding near record potential transfer fees north of €150m. There are only a few teams in the world that can afford to pay that much for a player, and at least two of them, Manchester United and Real Madrid have been strongly linked. Penny-pinching Chelsea had been given the strong pass by the rumor mill.

Until now.

The chain of events starting with Antonio Conte’s sacking, Maurizio Sarri’s hiring, and Jorginho’s subsequent signing has signaled the club’s intentions and ambitions and the rumor mill is paying attention. Welcome back to the big time, Chelsea Football Club! Here’s Rome-based Corriere dello Sport to throw the Blues into the mixer.

Milinković-Savić, or just “Sergej” to go by his shirt, is one of the few truly complete midfielders in today’s game. He’d be an automatic starter in just about every top club. Goals, assists, versatility, the big man would be a perfect fit as a no.8 in a three-man midfield or even as a no.10 in a more advanced role.

Lazio, who recently sold Felipe Anderson to West Ham for €45m and are thus not hurting for money, will not let Sergej go easily or cheaply. They have leverage in the form of four years left on his contract, even though they, like Chelsea, have no Champions League football to offer. In the meantime, his agent and former Chelsea striker Mateja Kezman will keep listening to offers, gauging the market.

If Chelsea were to somehow acquire Sergej, it would be an even bigger coup than Jorginho. So we probably shouldn’t get our hopes up, but it’s fun to speculate.