Lazio have told Manchester United they will need to pay more than €50million (£42.4m) to sign Sergej Milinkovic-Savic this summer.
United have relentlessly chased a deal for Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong throughout the summer transfer window but the Dutchman’s preference is still to remain at the Camp Nou.
Chelsea are now thought to be leading the race to sign de Jong should he move on this summer, leaving United to explore alternative midfield options.
Erik ten Hag’s side are currently in talks with Adrien Rabiot, having agreed a fee worth around £15m with Juventus for the France international.
Milinkovic-Savic is another option under consideration. Reports claim United have reached out over a deal through intermediaries but Lazio president Claudio Lotito insists the 27-year-old will not be sold on the cheap.
He told Il Messaggero: ‘Milinkovic for €50 million? At that amount, I don’t sell him, he is worth much more. Our market is thus complete and finished.
‘Also, because Luis Alberto will also remain. I quickly kept all the promises I had made. All the reinforcements [Maurizio] Sarri wanted on the sheet have been taken.’
United’s football director John Murtough was pictured in Turin on Friday morning as the club seek to push through a deal to sign Rabiot.
While a fee has been agreed with Juventus, United are still to agree personal terms with Rabiot’s mother and agent Veronique.
Speaking at a press conference on Friday, ten Hag refused to discuss individual targets but underlined the need for the club to bring in more signings before the transfer window closes at the end of the month.
When asked if he was confident that the squad will be improved by the time the window closes, Ten Hag said: ‘We have to. I am confident we will have [a better squad].’
Ten Hag also insisted he and the board are in agreement over the players currently being pursued.
‘I am happy. We are co-operating really well. I cannot talk about individual targets, or players who are under contract with other clubs.’
When asked specifically if he and the board are on the same page regarding transfer targets, Ten Hag replied: ‘Yes’.
United travel to Brentford on Saturday having lost their season opener at home to Brighton last week.
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