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Tuesday August 14 2018
Milinkovic the biggest non-mover

Sergej Milinkovic-Savic was one of the hottest names on the market this summer, but Susy Campanale wonders if Lazio are right to stick or twist?

Lazio’s biggest purchase of the summer could prove to cost nothing at all: keeping Sergej Milinkovic-Savic. Few believed he would remain, considering the rumoured €100m offers pouring in from Manchester United, Real Madrid, Juventus, Paris Saint-Germain and even Milan. Ultimately, will it be a wise move for all concerned?

President Claudio Lotito loves to send out a message that he is the toughest negotiator in the business and won’t be the poaching ground for rich transfer tourists, the way city rivals Roma are perceived nowadays. The Giallorossi could’ve got more from Mohamed Salah and Alisson Becker sales to Liverpool, yet people forget just how massive a profit they made on those two players in a very brief turn-over.

Brazilian goalkeeper Alisson went from €8m benchwarmer to €62m sale in the space of 12 months. Salah cost €20m and the Giallorossi doubled their investment – with up to €50m coming in based on bonuses – in a year. A selling club they may be, but at least they’re pretty good at it.

Lazio’s determination to prove their strength has at times been counter-productive. Keita Balde Diao allowed his contract to run down until a sale to Monaco for €30m was pretty much forced upon both parties. That deal was done to prevent him going to first choice Inter and the striker ended up there anyway. Lotito played hardball with Felipe Anderson, claiming he rejected a €75m offer for the Brazilian last year. When he eventually did go to West Ham United, it was for around half that sum. Still a profit for a player who cost €7.5m in 2013, but a disappointment when talked up so much by his club.

Let’s not even get into those times when Lotito pushed his principles too far and ended up losing players from Goran Pandev to Stefan de Vrij as free agents.

Milinkovic-Savic is a genuine talent, there are few doubts about that, but the €150m asking price is off the charts. While staying at the Stadio Olimpico for one more year to develop and hone his craft is positive for the Serbian, it remains to be seen if it’ll be a good business decision for Lazio.

SMS is hot stuff in the media right now and fans are clamouring for his signature on social media, so will his market value get much higher than this? Would Lazio do better to sell when his stock is sky high and reinvest in several other players? If it’s a sporting decision, then of course the team is stronger with Milinkovic-Savic. In terms of business, Lazio don’t always know when it’s the right time to sell.

Have your say...
Lazio will deffinitely challenge for CL with Sergej in the team so I don't really care what people talk. Too much talking and not enough acting.
Sergej seems to be like a silent striker(not as in striker but as in striking) keeps quite and gets results.
Expect him to be one of the biggest in the years to come.
on the 22nd August, 2018 at 6:05pm
The key word here is ‘Overpriced’ not ‘Overrated’. Talented yes. Highly rated yes. Potential world class? Sure, maybe in the next 2-3 years.

But for €150M? Meh...
Even €75M is already considered too much, unless u’re EPL clubs who would spend €75-€80M for goalkeeper or PSG who spent €180M for a teenager.

It’s down to Lotito’s intention. Sporting decision or business decision? I agree pretty much with the author’s last 2-3 sentences.
on the 18th August, 2018 at 4:45pm
@ Jay, so in the same logic, Dario Hubner was a world class striker?
on the 18th August, 2018 at 7:31am
The man is a CM or CDM & has 12 goals...Everyone on here who says he is overrated is clearly not a real footy fan. I don't agree with his value but remember these clubs are a business. Did average at the world cup with Serbia, so did other top names.

Bunch of frauds on here, any real footy fan would love to have this guy on there squad.
on the 17th August, 2018 at 8:14pm
Milan is about to get him. Yay!!!!
on the 17th August, 2018 at 1:30am
2/2 People claimed Kingsley Coman was a star of the future too. Where is he now? On the bench at Bayern and wasn't even selected to go to the World Cup. Clearly, he has stalled. Look at the Golden Boy awards of the last 15 years, Renato Sanches, Martial, Gotze, Balotelli, Pato, Anderson. All guys who failed to make it at a top club.
on the 16th August, 2018 at 9:45am
@ Leo Bernola 'Those who find him overrated are fans of teams that can't afford him.' What kind of a silly argument is that? Juve clearly can afford to pay high transfer fees, seeing they did it to sign Higuain & Ronaldo. Also, we probably couldn't afford to sign a player like Neymar, I don't think he's overrated. He's a great player. Fact is, SMS has proven nothing whatsoever to claim such a high price. Maybe he'll prove to be the real thing, time will tell, but there are no guarantees. 1/2
on the 16th August, 2018 at 9:42am
Most likely he's going to end up in a similar situation as Pandev did. When SMS realizes he is not going to make it to the champions league and is stuck at Lazio, things will go bad. Lotito is known for suing his own players.
on the 16th August, 2018 at 7:18am
I don't get it...
Lazio's books are balanced.
The players are paid average wages and are performing well beyond their salaries and initial purchase price.
Lazio seem to be doing just fine.
As for SMS: Those who find him overrated are simply fans of teams that simply can't afford him.
That's fine. Those teams can have Keita (30 mil), Bglia (17+2mil) and Candreva (22mil).
Lazio will keep SMS. It'll be tough but I'm sure Lazio fans will end
Hmmmm I wonder where Rannochia sits in the overrated scale
on the 16th August, 2018 at 3:11am
I don't know about the decision to keep SMS. If Lazio have ambitions, good luck with that. Don't like the club nor owner and don't care about their success.

However, a huge factor is that Lazio aren't in CL. If they hoped for SMS's value to go up, the only realistic option is to win the Scudetto. And looking at Inter, Roma and possibly Napoli, that's a little harder than just beating Juve w/o CR7.

Before the ship sails, sell. Overrated or not, Lazio are in no position to play hardball.
on the 15th August, 2018 at 3:10pm
What the heck are you guys complaining about? Laziales complaining about being a provincial club, which you clearly are. Its not hating, just stating facts.

That's not even what the article is about. Lotito has lost players because of this exact behaviour, so we will see if he is correct holding out for a better bid or if he will face the same destiny as Cairo and Belotti (who for sure will regret not accepting the bids on Belotti from last summer)
on the 15th August, 2018 at 2:34pm
@ Evesto, I am a Juve fan, but I don't have any bias toward Lazio. I just don't think that they're a top club. I gave arguments to support my claim. You can't produce a better argument than 'your input is pointless here', which is the epitome of pointless input and about the equivalent of saying, 'It's like that because the Bible says so'.
on the 15th August, 2018 at 1:45pm
@ BadBoyyyAnonymous No you haven't. Milan won the scudetto, which is a real prize. If you start counting Coppa Italias and Supercoppas, it proves my point that Lazio is a provincial club. No top clubs would talk about a successful decade if they had won what Lazio has won the past ten years. It's like saying Sevilla is a European powerhouse because they won the Europa League a few times. They're a decent side, but nowhere near the top.
on the 15th August, 2018 at 1:39pm
Sorry, but what? Lazio is a provincial club? We won much more than Milan in last 10 years, so yeah we are in good level.
on the 15th August, 2018 at 10:56am
I stand corrected. This Campanale is a milanista. Still unexceptable of course. Had to comment on this lowball site because of this disgrace but it will surely be the last. Back to reality now ...
on the 15th August, 2018 at 10:20am
@zambrotta No point in discussion with someone only interested in Juve, your imput is pointless here. @Rain A smart post again, but still disagree. A salary cap keeps the group in balance, no exceptions.
on the 15th August, 2018 at 9:46am
@Evesto, Lotito is cheap because he doesn’t want to pay top salary for his top players, yet he wants to sell them way beyond their market price. And his tough negotiation lets the contract run until 1 year or even risk it all the way and the player goes for free like deVrij. Well if it’s financially unavoidable, then it is what it is. ADL is way cheaper though, and Napoli supposedly have better finance than Lazio.

Anyw, Lazio is still part of upper tier club in italy. But lose the elite status.
on the 14th August, 2018 at 8:58pm
in a market where clubs are paying 75 million pounds for a goalkeeper 120 million plus for sms seems mundane. I would credit the lazio management for keeping to their valuation saying that he has 4 years left on his contract it is completely different situation to that of kieta anderson and de vrji. It is a limited amount of clubs capable of affording such a massive fee now the epl mercato is over it effectively limits it to 4 maybe 5 teams capable of doing a deal for sms.
on the 14th August, 2018 at 8:06pm
Zambrotta84, you are COMPLETELY CORRECT. This guy is WAAAY overrated. Have watched him a couple of times now. Nothing great at all. If Pogba is a 10/10, this guy is a 6/10. Lotito can keep him
on the 14th August, 2018 at 7:29pm
nice work lazio roma but before friday he is still on the market .
on the 14th August, 2018 at 7:11pm
@ Evesto, that's your only argument? The number of goals they managed to score in one season? Lazio is joint 10th in number of scudettos, behind powerhouses like Pro Vercelli, Bologna, Torino, & Genoa. Their only period of success was when Cragnotti was in charge. He spent lavishly for a few years, signed top players, won a few things & left the club in ruins. It's not because they're based in Rome that they're a top club. Their turnover & history is comparable with Fiorentina, a provincial club
on the 14th August, 2018 at 6:49pm
@ Evesto, learn to read , please. I never said I didn't see him play in serie A. I clearly said I've seen him play against Juve, probably 5 or 6 games, and he never impressed me. Same at the WC. A few good games at a provincial club against other mediocre sides doesn't make him a world class player. Look at Immobile. He failed at Dortmund and Sevilla, scoring freely at Lazio doesn't make him a world beater either. A few years ago they made the same predictions about Anderson, where is he now?
on the 14th August, 2018 at 6:40pm
@Rain & House Party. Compliments on those posts, clearly from people with some common sence and not here to take cheap shots at Lazio being rival supporters. But @Rain, Lotito is really not cheap. When it comes to transferfees he tries to keep the balance riskfree but when it comes to salaries & playercontracts it's never a problem if it's reasonable. Stefano Mauri once stated he never had a single discussion with him about salary demands, all it took was a handshake.
on the 14th August, 2018 at 5:58pm
Well done Lazio 4 keeping him. Spec if it is a sporting decision. They do right holding out 4 as much cash as poss anyhhow as English clubs r always daft enough to part wi crazy amounts of money! Italian clubs in general seem to be holding out 4 more cash when selling these days. Hope it's a sign that they don't have to sell as much now.
If SMhas another great season they'll get n astronomical fee. If not, then they get to keep a genuine talent n prospect!
on the 14th August, 2018 at 5:11pm
Overpriced. SMS is indeed, imo, a complete CM (balanced b/w attacking flair & defending physicality). But he’s not yet significant enough to lead the team and still has large room for improvement, as shown by his WC showing. If he keeps growing at this rate, then maybe at the age 26-27, with current market, he’ll worth at least €100M.

I’d like to compliment Lotito though, as cheap as he is, he won’t sell unless under his own term. Roma should learn how not to sell ur best player easily.
on the 14th August, 2018 at 5:00pm
i think article is spot on he never said SMS is overrated or lack any dimension in any area of is play all he said was it can be risky and i think it can happen he can hit a bad patch which had happened to even Ronaldo,s and Messi,s of the world and he can get injured or maybe hit form of his life and next season goes for 150m but its a risky buisness
on the 14th August, 2018 at 4:39pm
@ Rosario, face it, they are. They might have been a big club twenty years ago, but that ship has sailed a long time ago. Their budget and results clearly indicate that they're not a big club. Their team roster is made up of young talents and player who didn't cut it at the top. They crash out of Europe against average sides year after year, and when is the last time they were mentioned as title challengers? Face it, they have the same status as Fiorentina and Atalanta.
on the 14th August, 2018 at 4:07pm
This site is already the least believable when it comes to transferrumours, but to have a 1927 fan write up an article about the rival club is beyond me. Even the worst kind of 'journalism' requires neutrality.
on the 14th August, 2018 at 3:35pm
@zambrotta84 - Since Lazio scored the most goals in Serie A last season that's pretty good for a 'provincial' club wouldn't you say? You never seen him play in Serie A you say, well maybe you should then keep your opinion to yourself, it would be the smarter choice trust me. Lotito's pricetag is just a way of saying he wants to keep him, not hard to understand i would think. Not selling him brings more value to Lazio then cashing in.
on the 14th August, 2018 at 3:32pm
Overrated! Period.
on the 14th August, 2018 at 3:15pm

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