Transfer Talk: Man United boss Jose Mourinho scouts Milinkovic-Savic and Milenkovic
The transfer window for all of Europe’s big five leagues is closed, but that doesn’t stop Transfer Talk from rummaging around about who will be moving where come January.
Mourinho scouts Milinkovic-Savic
Leaving his troubles far behind him, Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho was spotted in the crowd doing a bit of scouting as Serbia beat rivals Montenegro 2-0 in Podgorica on Thursday evening.
Sources have told ESPN FC that Mourinho was invited to the game by Predrag Mijatovic, with the pair knowing each other from Real Madrid.
And, according to The Sun, Mourinho made the trip to personally run the rule over Lazio midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, a player linked with United over the summer — though negotiations never got beyond the €100m price quoted by his agents.
Sources said that Mijatovic told Mourinho to sign Croatia star Luka Modric when he was at Tottenham, but given his issues over signing an experienced defender, perhaps Mourinho is on the lookout for a younger option now the Real Madrid midfielder has reached 33.
Milinkovic-Savic, 23, put in an impressive performance and even laid on a goal as the home side coasted to a routine victory while the United boss watched on intently from up in the terraces with his cap pulled down over his face.
The midfield may not have been the only area on Mourinho’s agenda though. With United’s defensive woes still on his mind, special attention was also paid to 20-year-old Serbian defender Nikola Milenkovic, currently on the books at Fiorentina.
Zlatan returning to Old Trafford?
Rumours are circulating that Zlatan Ibrahimovic could be heading back to Manchester United on loan when the transfer market reopens in January.
The veteran Swedish striker is looking to secure a return to Europe during the MLS off-season and the Manchester Evening News claim that Old Trafford is being entertained as a potential destination.
Ibrahimovic spent two successful seasons at United before leaving for LA Galaxy, scoring 29 goals in 53 appearances and playing an intrinsic role in the club’s Europa League triumph in 2016-17.
Liverpool monitor Zielinski talks
Liverpool are keeping an eye on the “thorny” contract negotiations taking place between Piotr Zielinski and his club Napoli, according to the Express.
The Serie A club are attempting to raise Zielinski’s release clause from around £57 million up beyond the £100m mark — a lofty valuation the player’s representatives believe to be a little over-zealous.
The 24-year-old midfielder was heavily linked with a move to Anfield in 2016 but instead chose to leave Empoli for the Partenopei in a deal worth around £14m.
He has since nailed down a regular starting berth and thus seen his market value inflate accordingly, but that might not put Jurgen Klopp off making a second offer for the Polish international if talks reach an impasse.
However, the Reds run the risk of missing out on their man once again with the news that Juventus are also paying studious heed to the situation.
Everton after Nasri?
Everton are considering making a “shock” move to sign former Arsenal and Man City midfielder Sami Nasri.
The 31-year-old is a free agent after leaving Turkish club Antalyaspor in January but is also currently serving a 12-month drugs ban (which was back-dated) after being found guilty of a doping breach.
However, with his ban coming to an end very soon, the Daily Mail reckon that Toffees boss Marco Silva has discussed the possibility of bringing Nasri back to the Premier League thereafter.
— Tuttomercato report that Barcelona are currently in negotiations with Ajax over three players, namely Matthijs de Ligt, Frenkie de Jong and versatile midfielder Noussair Mazraoui, with the young trio valued at a combined €120m.
— Roma are to offer an improved contract to Cengiz Under in the hope of warding off interest in the 21-year-old Turkish midfielder from both Bayern Munich and Man City, so say Calciomercato.