Sergej Milinkovic-Savic has reiterated his commitment to Lazio, insisting that “I’m staying”, in what marks a blow to Chelsea’s hopes of signing the highly-rated midfielder.
After a stellar 2017/18 season with the Serie A side, Milinkovic-Savic has caught the attention of a number of clubs on the continent, including Chelsea and Manchester United.
As first reported by the The Independent, there is now a belief by those close to the player that he would favour a switch to Stamford Bridge, with Chelsea closely monitoring the Serbian’s situation.
But the midfielder’s latest comments, made in pre-season, have poured cold water on recent speculation of a Chelsea transfer.
When asked about his future by fans outside the facility, reports Goal, Milinkovic-Savic responded: “Of course I’m staying, do you not see that I’m here?”
Lazio are keen to keep hold of the talismanic midfielder, who could command a huge transfer fee in the market.
Milinkovic-Savic has been valued at around £89m, with manager Simone Inzaghi recently confirming his belief that the player is worth such a figure.
“There are many voices around Milinkovic-Savic, he can change the games alone,” Inzaghi said recently.
“I spoke with Sergej, he wanted to arrive two days earlier in Auronzo, but I gave him two more days of holiday. I feel calm.
“Anything could happen. Our desire is to do well as in the last years, we will fight with everyone.”
Prior to Russia 2018, United had seemed set to conclude a deal for the 23-year-old 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 the side in the mould of Eden Hazard. The Serbian scored 12 times in 35 Serie A matches for Lazio last season.