Sergej Milinkovic-Savic claims he is content to remain at Lazio "for now" despite being flattered by building transfer speculation, while sporting director Igli Tare insists there have been no approaches from Real Madrid regarding the talented box-to-box midfielder.
Former FK Vojvodina youngster Milinkovic-Savic has gone from strength to strength since swapping Genk for the Stadio Olimpico in the summer of 2015 and snubbing Fiorentina in the process, helping the Biancocelesti to re-establish themselves among Serie A's elite by scoring 21 goals and providing 17 assists in 107 appearances across all competitions.
The 22-year-old's swift rise to prominence in Italy - accelerated during the reign of current boss Simone Inzaghi - has led to widespread interest in his signature, with Chelsea and Liverpool among the clubs linked last summer, according to The Sun.
Manchester United, Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain have all been reported as potential suitors [Corriere dello Sport] since then, with Lazio president Claudio Lotito - who claimed to have rejected a bid from an unnamed club worth €70m (£61.6m, $86.1m) in 2017 - and Milinkovic-Savic himself ruling out an exit during the recent January transfer window.
Marca reported over the weekend that the Serbia international was rising to the top of a 25-30-strong list of players being monitored by Real as they plot a summer rebuild, with his wealth of experience at such a young age said to have been pinpointed as a particular strength along with his physical and technical abilities and capacity for further development.
However, Tare insists the 12-time European champions have yet to make contact with Lazio and that Milinkovic-Savic's situation will be reviewed again at the end of the current campaign.
He also warned that the latter's value was already significant after that aforementioned offer and it is only expected to increase further following the forthcoming World Cup in Russia, where he should add to his two senior caps having been included in caretaker boss Mladen Krstajic's Serbia squad for November friendlies against China and South Korea after being persistently overlooked by former head coach Slavoljub Muslin throughout the qualification period.
Milinkovic-Savic is also under contract at Lazio until 2022 having extended his existing deal by a further two years in April 2017.
No Real calls
"We have not received calls from [Real president] Florentino Perez, we will talk about it at the end of the season, but his value is high, we rejected 70 million euros last summer," Tare said, per Marca.
Spanish-born Milinkovic-Savic netted twice for Lazio in a dominant 3-0 win over Sassuolo at the Mapei Stadium on Sunday [25 February] to become the youngest midfielder across Europe's five major leagues to reach the nine-goal mark this season (11 across all competitions), per BBC Sport.
After the game he told La Gazzetta dello Sport that he still felt good in Rome, though appeared to leave the door ajar to a potential future exit.
"It's nice when people are talking about me," he said. "But I don't place too much importance on these things. I'm happy at Lazio and am feeling good here for now, but then we will have to see."