Claudio Lotito confirmed that he once turned down a €140 million offer for star midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic.
The 27-year-old Serbian midfielder is likely to depart this summer in order to fund the Biancocelesti’s squad overhaul, something Maurizio Sarri feels is much needed in order to compete for the Champions League spots.
Speaking to Rai Sport (via La Lazio Siamo Noi), Lotito first discussed the quality of this Serie A campaign as a whole.
It’s a hard-fought season, I’m pleased, the quality level of the teams has increased. The Scudetto is now fought between two teams, for Europe there are several teams, for the relegation they have increased.
I’m pleased, it’s a league in balance of technical quality. It’s a question of understanding the resilience of the teams now.
The Lazio president then spoke about coach Sarri and whether his contract will be renewed soon.
He has a contract that does not expire this year, no one has ever doubted his permanence. There is great professional esteem, for his dedication to football.
He lives on football, he feeds on football, 24 hours a day. He’s a positive element, he makes our players grow and gives them the responsibility to achieve results.
Finally, Lotito discussed the future of Milinkovic-Savic and confirms that he once turned down a €140 million offer for the Serbian star.
You always talk about money, I talk about the technical and moral qualities of the players. Milinkovic-Savic is not for sale, I value him highly. I’ve never put him up for sale, is there a for sale sign? In order to buy you need a seller.
I think a lot of Milinkovic-Savic, he can make a difference and I have a good relationship with him. If I were to be asked by a top team in the world, I would ask the player what he wants to do. In my company there’s human values first and then financial values.
When I was made an indecent offer of €140 million, I decided not to sell him. I’m the only case in the history of the world, today there is a problem of respect for the man and the player.
If he were to establish that he had the opportunity of a completely different club, one that must be at the top of the world, then I would ask myself the problem.
The 27-year-old Milinkovic-Savic, who is contracted to Lazio until 2024, has made 45 appearances across all competitions so far this season, for a total of 3597 minutes. In that time, he’s scored 10 goals and provided 12 assists.