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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Tom Blow

Arsenal 'in contact' with ex-Chelsea star in Sergej Milinkovic-Savic transfer talks

Arsenal are reportedly interested in signing Sergej Milinkovic-Savic and have opened talks with his agent, Mateja Kezman.

The Serbia international, 27, has been linked with various clubs in recent years, including Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain, and has just 18 months left on his existing deal at Lazio. He is regarded as one of the most impressive central midfielders in Serie A.

It's believed Kezman, who won the Premier League and League Cup during his one-season spell at Chelsea 18 years ago, is working on a transfer plan for his client. Furthermore, Mikel Arteta's side are said to be winning the race for his signature.

As reported by Italian outlet Corriere dello Sport, the Gunners and another unnamed Premier League club are in talks with Kezman over a deal to sign Milinkovic-Savic. The midfielder turns 28 next month and knows his next contract could be his last big one.

Milinkovic-Savic is regarded as Kezman's biggest client. He has made more than 300 appearances in all competitions for Lazio since arriving from Genk in the summer of 2015 - winning the Coppa Italia once and the Supercoppa Italiana twice.

Milinkovic-Savic, who was part of the Serbia side that won the Under-20 World Cup in 2015, has also won plenty of individual honours during his time in the Italian capital. He's been named in the Serie A Team of the Year and Lazio's Player of the Season twice apiece.

Mateja Kezman won two trophies during his short spell at Chelsea (Getty Images)

Who do you think Arsenal should sign? Let us know in the comments below!

One of Milinkovic-Savic's greatest achievements in Italy came at the end of the 2018/19 campaign, when he was named as the Best Midfielder in Serie A. He's also won the Serie A Player of the Month award twice, with his most recent nod coming in January 2021.

Arsenal are believed to be on the hunt for a new central midfielder. That is arguably the team's weakest department, with Arteta dependent on Thomas Partey, Granit Xhaka, Fabio Vieira, Albert Sambi Lokonga, Mohamed Elneny.

The Gunners attempted to bolster their ranks last summer by making a number of deadline-day bids for Aston Villa's Douglas Luiz, all of which were rejected. Luiz, 24, has since committed his future to Villa by signing a new long-term contract.

Sergej Milinkovic-Savic is believed to be a transfer target for Arsenal (Getty Images)

West Ham midfielder Declan Rice is thought to be another target, although he won't come cheap. The England international, who turns 24 this month, still has 18 months left on his deal, which the Hammers can automatically extend by a further 12 months.

Rice has made no secret of his desire to play Champions League football and Arsenal are likely to be able to offer that in the summer if they can maintain their good form. Arteta's side are five points clear of Manchester City at the top of the Premier League.

The sticking point is Rice's price tag, expected to be well over £100million. It is almost certain that Milinkovic-Savic would be a cheaper option.

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