As far as we know, potential transfer targets for Chelsea may exist in countries other than Italy, too. Pretty sure they did at one point. But this summer could’ve fooled us otherwise. Here’s the latest bit of silliness from the Boot.
Reports from Gazzetta dello Sport (via Sky Sports) and Rome’s Il Tempo claim that Chelsea are one of four teams “expected” to make a play on Lazio’s young standout (both physically and skill-wise), Sergej Milinković-Savić. But “in the last few hours, Chelsea have come forward in a concrete way”, which sounds impressive but may not actually mean much (as is the case with most rumors). Both reports agree that Lazio are looking for €150m, but Gazzetta claims that they “would settle” between €110m and €120m. Discount shopping at its finest.
The 23-year-old midfielder first made his name as a Serbia youth international, winning the U19 Euros in 2013 and the U20 World Cup in 2015. He joined Lazio soon after the latter success and has since become one of the most coveted young players in Europe, especially after setting career highs in appearances (48) and goals (14) as Lazio just barely missed Champions League qualification.
Milinković-Savić, who’s represented by former Chelsea player Mateja Kežman (advantage us?), got hearts racing when he failed to turn up yesterday as originally scheduled from post-World Cup vacation, but it turns out he had a good excuse and was granted an extra day by the club.
“Sergej missed his flight because of a terrible road accident in Belgrade, which blocked the traffic. There are absolutely no problems. He will arrive in Rome tomorrow (Tuesday), where he will begin the medical exams and then the preparation. I am happy there is so much attention on him, but he really does have an excellent relationship with the club.”
That doesn’t sound like a player who can’t wait to get out of Dodge, but stranger things have happened before...