Man Utd may be about to frustrate Jose Mourinho with summer signing four years too late

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Manchester United apparently have interest in Lazio star Sergej Milinkovic-Savic. And if they do sign the Serbia international this summer, Jose Mourinho can be forgiven for feeling frustrated. He was keen to bring the midfielder to Old Trafford prior to his dismissal in 2018 but, in the end, that didn’t happen.

Back in the summer of 2018, Mourinho wanted backing.

Though the Red Devils signed Lee Grant, Diogo Dalot and Fred, the Portuguese felt more was required in order to reel in Manchester City and win the Premier League title.

That same year, Mourinho also wanted to get rid of Paul Pogba.

Though the France international dazzled as his side won the World Cup, their relationship had soured behind the scenes after a turbulent ending to the previous campaign.

And Milinkovic-Savic was his main target for midfield, having been impressed by the way the Lazio star had performed in Serie A.

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United, that summer, probed the possibility of bringing him to Old Trafford.

And Mourinho was keen for a deal to be struck, only for Pogba to stay and his grand plans fail to come to fruition.

Even after United failed to snap up the Lazio star, Mourinho had designs on bringing him to the club.

The current Roma boss jetted out to watch the 27-year-old in action when Serbia locked horns with Montenegro.

And Milinkovic-Savic was pleased by Mourinho’s visit, later saying: “I am a Lazio player but it is obvious that I was pleased that a coach of his stature came to watch the match.

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“I read a little bit everywhere he was here at the stadium to see me play, but that does not mean anything.

“Maybe he was not here for me, but for someone else.”

Now, United could finally be about to sign the player four years after Mourinho had intended.

Erik ten Hag knows the Red Devils require major changes in midfield, having endured a chastening campaign under both Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Ralf Rangnick.

And Milinkovic-Savic is in the club’s sights after sparkling for Lazio this term and consolidating his status as one of the best players in Serie A.

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United could launch a bid for the player also due to the fact that other targets may be beyond their reach.

West Ham will demand around £150million to let Declan Rice go, even though the England international is reluctant to sign a new contract.

Kalvin Phillips is admired by the Red Devils but doesn’t want to betray Leeds by moving to Old Trafford.

And United will struggle to land Ruben Neves after Wolves made it clear he wasn’t for sale.

Meanwhile, Milinkovic-Savic’s agent Mateja Kezman has insisted some quotes attributed to him are ‘fake’.

One publication ran a story quoting the Serb as saying: “Sergej has no shortage of offers for the summer market.

“We are currently talking to Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain.

“He is focused on the season finale with Lazio, but Sergej wants to go to Manchester United.”

But Kezman has now said: “It’s fake news. I have never given interviews in the last period, some journalists are really incredible!

“I’m very angry, it is a lack of respect towards me, towards Sergej and Lazio.”

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