Club owner claims midfielder Conte is said to be ‘crazy’ about is ‘not for sale’ 

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Antonio Conte
Photo by Tottenham Hotspur FC/Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images

Contrary to reports over the last few months, Lazio owner Claudio Lotito has insisted that rumoured Tottenham Hotspur target Sergej Milenkovic-Savic is not for sale this summer.

Milinkovic-Savic has enjoyed another exceptional campaign, with 10 goals and 11 assists in the Serie A so far but the midfielder only has two years left on his contract at the Stadio Olimpico (Transfermakrt).

La Lazio Siamo Noi reported last month that Antonio Conte and Fabio Paratici are ‘crazy’ about the Serbian and the North Londoners could launch an offer for the player if they qualify for the Champions League.

Spurs are said to be facing competition from Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain for the 27-year-old (Calciomercato.it).

According to Sky Sport Italia, Lazio are looking for a whopping fee of €80m (£67.4m) for the midfielder this summer.

However, Lotito has clarified in no uncertain terms that Milenkovic-Savic will not be sold this summer.

The Lazio owner told Rai Sport (as relayed by Football Italia): “You always talk about money, I [talk about] technical and personal qualities of my players.

“Milinkovic is not for sale, I rate him a lot. I have never put him up for sale, is there a ‘for sale’ sign? In order to sign him, you need someone to sell him.”

“I rate Milinkovic a lot, he is a game-changer and we have a great relationship,” the Lazio president added. “If a big club comes in for him, I would ask the player what he wants to do.

“At my club, we prioritise the human over the financial [aspects]. When I received an offer of €140 million (£119.6m), I didn’t sell him.

“I am the only case in world history. Today there is an issue with regards to respect towards the man and player.”

Spurs Web Opinion

I suspect this is simply a case of Lotito playing hardball. Given that Milenkovic-Savic has only two years left on his contract, Lazio need to cash in on him this summer in order to get a decent fee for the player if he refuses to sign a new contract.

However, I do not think there is any chance of the midfielder ending up at Spurs. I do not think he is a natural fit for Conte’s 3-4-3 and so, I cannot see us breaking our transfer record to snap up the Serbian.

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