Arsenal are targeting Sergej Milinkovic-Savic for a January move, as the Gunners look to strengthen their position in the Premier League title race.
No one would have expected Mikel Arteta’s team to challenge Manchester City and Liverpool for the top two places in the league ahead of the season.
However, the Gunners have had their best start to a Premier League season and really staked their claim to be title contenders, whilst Liverpool have struggled.
Whilst they dropped points for only the second time this season against Southampton at the weekend, after some referee calls they weren’t happy with, Arteta’s side are still top by a point.
There’s only three league games left until the six week break for the World Cup, meaning Arteta’s side will still be in the hunt for the title come January, even if they were to slip up again and fall behind City.
That will give them the chance to strengthen from a good position when the transfer window opens in the new year, should they wish to do so.
And it seems that they’ve got a top target in their sights, with Italian outlet Calciomercato claiming that they will do ‘anything’ to sign Milinkovic-Savic.
The report claims that they are willing to hand over Albert Sambi Lokonga as part of the deal for the Lazio star, along with £52.5 million.
It’s far from the first time that the 27-year-old Serbian has been linked with a move away from the Olimpico Stadium, and it seems to be have been a running theme for about five years.
In the past Manchester United have been the name most closely linked with the Lazio star, and were once again rumoured to be interested in the summer.
However that move never materialised, with United actually desperate to sign Frenkie de Jong and eventually turning their sights to Casemiro, which has turned out to be an excellent signing, even before his equaliser vs Chelsea.
Juventus and PSG have also been heavily rumoured to be interested in Milinkovic-Savic in the past but Lazio have wanted huge sums for the midfielder.
The link with Arsenal will certainly raise eyebrows to whether it’s a serious consideration in north London or a leak to the press in an attempt by someone to trigger actual bids from other clubs.
Milinkovic-Savic does have three goals and seven assists in 11 Serie A games so far this season, and would undoubtedly be an excellent signing.
However, his age and cost would be in opposition to much of what Arteta has been doing since taking over the reigns at the Emirates.
Lokonga at just 23-years-old seems to suit the age profile of player in the squad much more, although he has only started two games in the league so far this season.
It will be very interesting to see just how much Arsenal go in on the transfer window and whether they make a real push to keep up with, or ahead of, City in the title race.