AC Milan and LOSC Lille have made significant progress in their discussions towards the signing of Portuguese midfielder Renato Sanches.
The 24-year-old former European Golden Boy is the Rossoneri’s first choice to replace the departing Franck Kessie, who has signed a deal with Barcelona to join the Catalans from the 2022/23 season.
They have been chasing Sanches’ signature since the January window but the French club held on to the midfielder, who is one of their best performers this season, as they look to finish their top flight challenge strongly.
Having failed to achieve that aim – Lille are currently in 10th place on the table – they are resigned to losing their players in the summer. Aside Sanches, they could lose striker Jonathan David and midfielder Edon Zhegrova, while Milan are also interested (and in advanced talks with) defender Sven Botman.
Milan, despite chasing after Sanches and making progress in his signing, have also declared an interest in Lazio midfielder Sergei Milinkovic-Savic.
The 27-year-old Serbian international is one of the most wanted players in Europe. He has been linked to the German Bundesliga, the Premier League, and to Juventus and Inter Milan in the Serie A.
Tuttosport reports that Milan would also be throwing their hat in the ring to sign the player.
The Rossoneri are in the verge of a €1 billion takeover from Bahrain-based investment firm Investcorp, which will make them the first club to come under the ownership of the Middle East. The takeover will also make them the richest club in the league and one of the richest in the world.
Investcorp are reportedly looking for players of high quality in the Serie A and in Europe’s top five leagues ‘as a gift’ to the fans of the club, and Milinkovic-Savic’s name has popped up.
Milan Technical director Paolo Maldini is also a huge fan of the Lazio midfielder and has tried to sign him in the past. Investcorp will now provide the financial backing to be able to do so without much competition.
Lazio are expecting Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain to bid for the striker, but the €70 million starting price will be up the new owners’ alley.
Milan could have a dream midfield pairing of both Sanches and Milinkovic-Savic which will surely delight fans of the club. Sanches will be preparing to move to Italy after Calciomercato reported that Paolo Maldini and his colleague Frederic Massara have reduced the gap between their offer and his personal requests.
Milan will also pay a discount on the initial €20 million asking price for Sanches to Lille because the midfielder has only one year left on his contract.