Why Serie A clubs prefer Rafael Leao and Milinkovic-Savic flop at World Cup

While most clubs want their players to shine at the World Cup, Milan might be hoping Rafael Leao doesn’t get too much attention, while Juventus also prefer that Lazio’s Sergej Milinkovic-Savic disappoints.

Italy are not at the World Cup in Qatar, but what happens in the tournament will inevitably have a knock-on effect for the transfer window in January and next summer.

Milan have seen their players move up the ranks even after just one game, coming off the bench to change the fortunes of their sides.

Leao came off the bench and within three minutes had scored on his World Cup debut for Portugal, while Theo Hernandez boosted France by replacing his injured brother Lucas.

While Theo Hernandez has signed to a long-term contract and Olivier Giroud has no intention of moving on, the situation around Leao is more complicated.

His contract runs to June 2024 and there is a very good reason Milan wanted to get the renewal sorted out before he left for Qatar.

A good performance in the World Cup for Portugal could not only raise his profile and the number of clubs ready to splash the cash, but also give his agent more confidence in demanding that €9m per season salary.

On the other hand, La Gazzetta dello Sport point out that there are two clubs keeping a close eye on Sergej Milinkovic-Savic.

Lazio are negotiating a new contract and don’t want him to do too well for Serbia, otherwise he will demand a higher salary.

At the same time, Juventus hope SMS struggles too, because then it’ll give them less competition on the transfer market from the likes of Manchester United, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur.

While those clubs are likely to move him up and down the pecking order based on his World Cup showing, Juve are safe in the knowledge they’ve been tracking him for several years and won’t be swayed by what happens in Qatar.

Leave a Reply