Manchester United appear to be stepping up their interest in Lazio midfielder Sergej Milinković-Savić after the player's agent arrived in London this week, but the club are still £18m away from matching the player's asking price this summer.
The key decision-makers at Old Trafford have been keeping an eye on Milinković-Savić's future for a number of years and now it's expected that he could finally make the switch as Paul Pogba angles for a move to Real Madrid.
There's been very little progress over Pogba's future recently, but Manchester United still appear to be closing in on a deal for Milinković-Savić as Corriere dello Sport (via The Daily Mail) reports his agent is in London.
But Mateja Kežman, a former Chelsea striker turned agent, still hasn't travelled up to the north-west as Manchester United still haven't made an official bid for the Serbia international this summer.
Ole Gunnar Solkjaer's side have so far been willing to offer £72m to sign Milinković-Savić ahead of the new season.
And while Lazio's president Claudio Lotito has already conceded that keeping hold of the midfielder could prove to be difficult this summer, United's current valuation still falls short for the Biancocelesti, who want £90m (€100m) before agreeing to a deal.
Milinkovic-Savic rumours are very interesting. IF United sign him it's a bit odd how we've scouted Bruno all season then go back to a Jose target who's had an off season. Almost feels like Ed is making the decisions. Not saying he's a bad player. He's decent. Just odd move— Mark Goldbridge (@markgoldbridge) July 25, 2019
Lazio have already spent over £30m and could have signed Milinković-Savić's long-term successor in either Bruno Jordão or Sofian Kiyine - the latter has been immediately loaned back out - but they'll still need to find a replacement if the midfielder leaves this summer.
United, meanwhile, appear are waiting over the futures of Pogba and Romelu Lukaku before they spend any more serious money this summer.
Despite links with Real Madrid throughout the summer transfer window, Pogba looks increasingly likely to stay at the club unless the Spanish giants can offload enough first-team players to finance the move.
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Belgium international Lukaku, however, is all-but ready to join Italian outfit Inter where he'll have the chance to work under former Chelsea manager Antonio Conte.
But the Nerazzurri are struggling to find a suitor for Mauro Icardi, who would need to leave San Siro before any move for Lukaku at Manchester United's current asking price can be completed.