By 90Min
July 16, 2018

Chelsea have entered the race to sign Sergej Milinkovic-Savic from Serie A side Lazio, according to reports in Italy. 

The 23-year-old has gained a lot of plaudits after a very successful 2017/18 season in Italy, where he scored 12 goals in 35 league appearances for I Biancocelesti, who finished the Serie A season in fifth place. Milinkovic-Savic also impressed while at the World Cup with his native Serbia, despite his country's early elimination for the competition at the group stages.

Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/GettyImages

This form has attracted the attention of Europe's elite clubs, including Manchester United and Juventus, and it is widely expected that the Serbia international will leave Lazio this summer.

However, with little more room in the Juventus budget following the high-profile signing of Cristiano Ronaldo from Real Madrid, and Mourinho's United put off by Lazio's €130m asking price, this paves the way for Chelsea to make their move and the Blues are seriously contemplating whether to make an offer to Lazio, according to Corriere dello Sport.

Chelsea, who made Maurizio Sarri their first-team head coach last week, have only signed one player in this transfer window so far - Napoli's Jorginho in a £50m deal - and have identified Milinkovic-Savic as their next transfer target.

Marco Rosi/GettyImages

Yet prizing the Serbian away from Lazio will prove to be difficult as he is contracted to the Serie A side until 2022. On top of this, I Biancocelesti have also lost Felipe Anderson to West Ham for €40m as well as central defender Stefan de Vrij to Inter, so manager Simone Inzaghi is determined not to sell another key player this summer. 

However, Chelsea are boosted by the fact that Milinkovic-Savic's agent is former Blues striker Mateja Kezman, who spent a season at Stamford Bridge and was one of Jose Mourinho's first ever signings as Chelsea manager.

Ben Radford/GettyImages

Kezman's role in the transfer could be useful as the 39-year-old Serbian has always spoken positively about his time at Stamford Bridge, telling Sky Sports in 2011 that playing for Chelsea was "the best thing that ever happened to me" and that "living and playing in London was something that I will never forget".  

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