Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has tried everything he could to get his fellow countryman Emre Can commit his future to Anfield. Klopp understands that Can has the right attributes to be a hit with the Kop faithful – if he is not already.
But, the German midfielder has rejected all the advances made by Liverpool and has not signed an extension so far. It looks highly unlikely that he would sign one from now until next summer, which is when he is expected to leave on a free transfer.
I wouldn’t be surprised if Can makes a move in the January transfer window itself and signs a pre-contract agreement with some foreign team. That leaves Klopp with finding a replacement for the midfielder.
Latest reports Italian outlet Tuttosport (h/t Turkish-football) indicate that Liverpool have set their sights on Lazio midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic as a replacement for Can. Klopp apparently sees the 22-year-old Serbian as an ideal replacement for Can, who seems set to join Juventus. Interestingly, Milinkovic-Savic is also eyed by Juventus and it would be interesting to see how the tussle goes.
There is interest from other clubs too, as the two Manchester sides – United and City – are reportedly keen on making a move. Lazio, however, see him as a valuable member of their squad and have slapped a tag of £62.3million on their midfielder.
Despite the huge transfer fee, the Italian press feels that Liverpool are leading the pack for his signature and that Klopp wants to pair him with Naby Keita, who is set to join the club next summer.
How good is the youngster? Milinkovic-Savic is well-known for his energetic displays in the midfield. He has already got off to a flying start in Serie A this year and has scored 4 goals and 4 assists.
How feasible is the transfer? Milinkovic-Savic’s agent and former Chelsea forward Mateja Kezman has indicated that his client is “unsellable” at Lazio but that may change if we bid for the player.
I think the Serbian is an exciting prospect and although it is a punt to go for his as-yet-untested-at-the-highest-level potential, it is worth taking a risk.