Lazio president Claudio Lotito took stock of Al-Hilal’s reported offer for star midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic.
Reports emerged today that the Saudi Arabian side had sent in an official offer for the 28-year-old Serb, worth around €40 million. A contract worth around €20 million net per season has also been offered to the player.
Current indications suggest that Milinkovic-Savic is open to the move to Lazio and that the club are willing to accept the €40 million offer, meaning his chapter in Rome could be coming to an abrupt end.
Speaking to Tag24 (via TMW), Lotito first discussed if Lazio had agreed a deal with Al-Hilal regarding Milinkovic-Savic.
No no, I’m not aware of anything done, you know more about it than I do. Someone is telling you things, I don’t know if they are lies or truth. At the moment I have not signed anything.
I don’t know if there is an offer from Saudi Arabia, they told me there is and it is worth a lot to the player and less to the club. The player has asked to leave since he’s been at Lazio for eight years.
It’s not a problem of relations with the club, it’s a problem of the mentality. It was not a problem of money with us, he wanted a change of scenery.
He was asked why Milinkovic-Savic wanted to leave the Italian capital.
I don’t know if it’s a problem of motivation, if one wants to go to Saudi Arabia the motivation is only money. But you have to ask him.
I tried until the last to keep him, but when someone asks me for something personal and his own to leave, what can I do? We were willing to renew the contract and increase it.
I have a good relationship with him, but in the end the player decides what he wants to do in life. He phoned me begging me to let him go.
Finally, Lotito was asked about the status of the negotiations with Al-Hilal.
This offer hasn’t concretely arrived, when the contract is signed, and the payment is made it will be done. As long as he is at Lazio he will go on the training camp, when he is no longer a member he will go where he has decided.
I didn’t talk about a fair offer, because if we waited for the right one, we wouldn’t sell him for those amounts. I made a promise to the boy, that if a normal minimum offer came to Lazio he could go.
The offer is lower than €50 million, a bit less. This is an act of faith I’m making towards the player for a promise I made.
Milinkovic-Savic played a crucial role in Lazio’s second place finish and Champions League qualification last season, scoring nine goals and providing eight assists in 36 Serie A appearances.