Belfast Telegraph

Who is Lazio's Serbian midfielder Liverpool have reportedly bid €28m for?

He's been linked to Arsenal and Chelsea as well but what do we know about him?

By Gareth Hanna

Liverpool have reportedly had a €28m bid turned down by Lazio for their Serbian midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic.

According to Italian outlet Corriere dello Sport, Liverpool have made an approach for the 22 year-old. But what do we know about him?

1. An overview of the all-round midfielder

Although Sergej is most comfortable helping out in attack, he can play a variety of midfield roles and he's also been linked with a move to Arsenal or Chelsea this summer. He came through the ranks at Vojvodina in Serbia, moved to Genk and just a year later was snapped up by Lazio after netting five goals in 24 league appearances in Belgium. He cost the Italian side £7.65 million and has scored 10 goals in 73 matches since that move.

2. He's rather good in the air

At six foot three and a half inches, or 1.92 metres, Sergej would step in as the second tallest player in the Liverpool panel (if google is to be believed). Even Emre Can is eight centimetres shorter than that. He looks bigger on TV. Currently the biggest player at Liverpool is Joel Matip at 1.95m, followed by goalkeepers Danny Ward and Ryan Fulton at 1.91m high. And Sergej does seem to put his height to good use as well. Last season he won 149 aerial duos, more than any other player in Serie A.

3. He hasn't got any senior caps but has starred on the international stage

He has played regularly for the Serbian underage teams, right up to U21s and has been in senior panels but hasn't quite got onto the pitch. Nonetheless, at Under 20 level, he won the Bronze Ball for his performances as he helped Serbia win the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup. That meant he was the third best player at the tournament behind Adama Traore (the Monaco one, not the Middlesbrough one) and Shakhtar's Viktor Kovalenko, who has also been linked with Liverpool.

4. He comes from a VERY sporty family

You know those people that just have it? Basically they can turn their hand to any sport and they'll be pretty good at it. Well the Milinkovic-Savic clan might just be one of those sort of families. His younger brother Vanja is also a Serbian under-age international. He's a goalkeeper due to join Torino this summer from Polish side Lechia Gdańsk. He was previously at Manchester United but failed to gain a work-permit and was released in November 2015. Their mother Milana was a professional basketball player (probably explains the height) and father Nikola played professional football in Serbia, Spain and Portugal.

5. Getting his name on your shirt wouldn't cost as much as you think

If you wanted to have Milinkovic-Savic emblazoned on the back of your shirt, it could cause a couple of problems. Not only would it cost a clean fortune, but you also might be struggling for space. Probably why he opts to have his first name 'Sergej' on the back of his shirt. Much more handy.

So after all that effort to learn about him, basically you can guarantee he won't move to the Premier League this summer, meaning all of this was a waste of time.

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