Sergej Milinković-Savić

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Lazio controversially tops Atalanta to win seventh Coppa Italia

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The latest name to grace the Coppa Italia is Lazio.

Late goals from Sergej Milinkovic-Savic and Joaquin Correa lifted the Roman side to a 2-0 defeat of Atalanta in the Italian Cup Final.

It’s Lazio’s 7th Coppa Italia, tied for third with Inter Milan. Juventus won the previous four to give it 13 all-time, while Roma’s nine are good for second.

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Atalanta boss Gian Piero Gasperini was furious with officials for not consulting VAR after ex-Middlesbrough defender Marten De Roon‘s shot hit the hand of Lazio defender Bastos in the box. From the BBC:

“Are we meant to only use VAR when it’s handy? It was a penalty and a red card,” Gasperini said. “This is a scandal. Tell me why it happened? Give me some justification.”

The match was a sub-story in some areas, as fans lit a police car on fire as part of several clashes with authorities.

Report: AC Milan nearing Milinkovic-Savic deal in January

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According to Italian journalist Franco Melli, AC Milan is getting close to a January transfer window deal for Lazio midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic that would cost the Italian club $80 million.

Melli went on the radio in Italy to announce his findings, stating that Milan was close to a deal for Milinkovic-Savic over the summer, and while he hasn’t been overly impressive this season so far, they still hope to bring him to the San Siro this winter.

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The bruising Serbian midfielder has played all but one of Lazio’s Serie A games this season, but the club has slipped of late, failing to win any of its last five league matches and seeing Atalanta creep just one point back of fifth-placed Lazio.

Just 23 years old, Milinkovic-Savic would shore up an AC Milan midfield that currently features a disappointing Tiemoue Bakayoko, an injured Lucas Biglia, an injured Giacomo Bonaventura, a young and inexperienced Jose Mauri, and an aging Riccardo Montolivo who has yet to appear this season. Only 22-year-old Ivory Coast international Franck Kessie has been a mainstay in the AC Milan midfield this season.

The club has already confirmed the arrival of Flamengo midfielder Lucas Paqueta for $40 million, and it seems like Milan wishes to continue bolstering its midfield. Sitting fourth in the Serie A table, they have slipped recently, with just one win in its last five league matches and a disappointing exit from the Europa League group stage thanks to a final-day loss to Olympiakos.

Milan spending significant money is also noteworthy given the fact they were handed down a suspended European ban just one week ago from UEFA for Financial Fair Play penalties, and must earn a net spend of zero by the summer of 2021. Any significant spending must be equaled out by that time, or the club will be barred from European competition for two seasons.

Reports: Mourinho scouts Milenkovic, Milinkovic-Savic; Lodges $70m bid

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Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho was in the stands for Serbia’s 2-0 win over Montenegro on Sunday, and that’s naturally being linked to the transfer rumor mill.

Nikola Milenkovic and Sergej Milinkovic-Savic are the names being pulled from this particular match, both high-profile (and price tag) players from Serie A.

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Now technically any coach is observing nearly every player on the pitch, but both do make sense in terms of skill (a Mourinho and Ed Woodward requirement) and age (more of a Woodward priority).

Eight-times capped center back Milenkovic, who turned 21 on Friday, is said to be a subject of United interest, having raised his profile since arriving from Fiorentina in 2017. La Nazione says United has filed a bid of approximately $70 million for his services.

Milenkovic has scored twice this season and played a little right back, too. He stands close to 6-foot-4.

Lazio midfielder Milinkovic-Savic played the final 11-plus minutes for Serbia, and was of course quizzed on Mourinho’s interest.

Milinkovic-Savic, 23, said he read that Mourinho was there to see him, and that he was honored if that’s true, but was quick to give allegiance to Lazio.

Not to mention, the 9-times capped Milinkovic-Savic is probably going to cost well over $100 million.

Manchester United midfielder Nemanja Matic missed the match with an injury.

Transfer rumor roundup: Bale’s future in Madrid; Chelsea’s makeover

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The 2018 World Cup is complete, which means we now fully turn our attention back to the club game, which means it’s time for (an abbreviated) transfer season to begin…

[ VIDEO: What do Liverpool, Spurs need this summer? ]

With Cristiano Ronaldo out of the way — and the likes of Kylian Mbappe, Neymar and/or Eden Hazard signed to replace him (yet) — Gareth Bale is expected to remain at Real Madrid and fill the “main man” void left by Ronaldo’s move for Juventus. The 29-year-old Welshman will meet with new Madrid manager Julen Lopetegui prior to the start of preseason friendlies in the United States. Bale has repeatedly been linked with a move to Premier League side Manchester United.

However, given Bale’s troubling history of injuries since moving to Madrid in the summer of 2013, it would be unwise — and unlikely — that Florentino Perez doesn’t make at least one massive signing this summer to replace Ronaldo’s otherworldly production. It makes all the sense in the world on the field, and fits Perez’s m.o., off of it.

[ MORE: Hazard hints at Chelsea exit, has “preferred destination” in mind ]

The next month could see the Chelsea squad undergo a total and complete rebuild, and Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, one of the breakout stars of the 2018 World Cup for Serbia, is said to top the wishlist of owner Roman Abramovich and new manager Maurizio Sarri. Man United have also been heavily linked with Milinkovic-Savic, dating back to pre-World Cup rumors.

The 23-year-old box-to-box dynamo will likely cost the Blues well over $100 million — if Lazio get their way — but in return they’ll be getting a player who, alongside N'Golo Kante, will re-establish Chelsea as one of the best midfields in club soccer, and arguably the toughest to play against.

Quick hits

  • Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Mousa Dembele has reportedly rejected a potential move to Inter Milan
  • Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has said that forward Daniel Sturridge could still have a future at Anfield
  • West Ham United forward Andy Carroll has reportedly been offered, on loan, to Turkish side Besiktas
  • Crystal Palace and Bournemouth are reportedly both working toward signing forward Ollie Watkins from Championship side Brentford
  • Everton and Bournemouth are reportedly expected to make bids for Genoa and Uruguay defender Diego Laxalt

Transfer Rumor Roundup: Lindelof to Man Utd and more

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With the international season in full swing, clubs are hoping to complete deals that will see them compete at a higher level once next season starts.

Manchester United looks to be quick off the blocks, with a deal for Benfica defender Victor Lindelof apparently complete. Multiple outlets are reporting that the deal is fully done, and that it will become official on Wednesday after his international duty with Sweden is complete and he can fly to Manchester to perform the medical.

According to the reports, the purchase will cost Manchester United around $45 million. Lindelof, a 22-year-old center-back with 12 international caps to his name, was a player that Jose Mourinho was reportedly in for last winter, but instead the United boss pulled his offer with the squad already full.


With Liverpool still shaking off the embarrassment of the Virgil Van Dijk disaster, there are rumors that the Reds have begun to turn the gears on a play for Lazio midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic. The 22-year-old Serbian has 11 international caps and was a regular for Lazio in midfield last season as the club finished 5th in Serie A.

The process has just begun, with Liverpool enquiring about Milinkovic-Savic’s availability, but according to the player’s agent, there are “many big clubs talking about him” (of course he would say that). The Serbian’s agent did say Juventus was not one of those suitors, and that the player is happy at Lazio, having just signed a new contract in April that lasts through the summer of 2022.

Given his brand new contract and likely interest elsewhere, it will be costly for Liverpool to bring the Serbian midfielder to Anfield. It also might behoove Liverpool to let the player continue to develop, as he shows top ability both with the ball at his feet and in the air, but still has some growing to do, as evident by his 73% passing accuracy last season over 34 Serie A appearances.


Reports in Russia have suggested that Arsenal is close to signing 21-year-old midfielder Aleksandr Golovin from CSKA Moscow. The youngster is highly experienced for his age, with 12 international caps under his belt plus two full Russian league seasons which saw CSKA finish top of the table in 2016 followed by a second-place finish this past year.

According to the report, Golovin would cost Arsenal just $13 million.

The young Russian is a superb tackler and solid passer out in front of the back line, and has a far better disciplinary record than the incumbent Arsenal midfielders. While the hope is that Golovin would eventually challenge both Francis Coquelin and Granit Xhaka for the holding midfield spot, initially CSKA is reportedly interested in taking Golovin back on loan for a season should the deal go through. The report also mentions Hull City as a possible loan destination should Arsenal decide to keep him in England.


Spurs midfielder Dele Alli has spoken about his future, in the hopes of easing Tottenham fans who may have fears of him leaving. While the young England international would not rule out any future move – even something this summer – he wanted to make sure Spurs fans knew where his head was at.

“I think people get too worried about where they are going to eventually end up,” Alli told The Guardian. “They lose focus on the journey, and are not enjoying it.”

There are endless rumors that Real Madrid are interested in the 21-year-old star, but nothing has come of that yet.

“I’m signed to Tottenham and I’m enjoying it. Who knows where I am going to end up, whether I stay at Tottenham for the rest of my career or if I do happen to go somewhere else. I’m sure if it happens, if I do go somewhere else, it will be at a time when I think that’s what’s needed. But I am just looking forward to enjoying the journey.”