Milivojevic left waiting for offer before Eagles extension
Luka Milivojevic has indicated the lack of an offer from a top club pushed him towards penning a new long-term deal with Crystal Palace.
The Serbian midfielder signed on the dotted line on a four-year extension at Palace at the start of August, ending talk he could move on from Selhurst Park this summer.
Rumours before and during the transfer window suggested the 28-year-old was attracting interest from sides in Italy with AC Milan, Inter Milan and Lazio all credited with tracking the midfielder.
The situation looked precarious for the Eagles with Milivojevic entering the final year of his previous contract but the club had been in talks with their skipper for some time regarding an extension.
Milivojevic, who cost Palace £11million when they signed him from Olympiakos in January 2017, has now spoken about being left in an uncomfortable situation with the rumours regarding his future circling until he signed his new contract.
The central midfielder has indicated that a tempting offer never arrived from those clubs supposedly interested in his services, though, and so he opted to end the speculation by committing to the South London outfit until 2023.
“It was a little inconvenient because I was entering the last year of the contract,” Milivojevic told Serbian newspaper Kurir.
“In football, it is a little inconvenient when you enter the last year, all sorts of things happen. I know, I didn’t get the top offer and I extended the contract.”
Milivojevic signed on the dotted line just a week after criticising the transfer policy of Palace, who waited until late on in the window to bring in the likes of Gary Cahill, James McCarthy and Victor Camarasa.
Despite the new additions of McCarthy and Camarasa in midfield, Milivojevic remains a key player for Eagles boss Roy Hodgson.
The Serb played every minute of every Premier League game last season and has maintained that record through the first four games of this campaign.
Milivojevic also finished the 2018/19 campaign as Palace’s top-scorer with 12 goals in the Premier League last season, the vast majority of his efforts coming from the penalty spot.
2016/17 – 2️⃣ goals
2017/18 – 1️⃣0️⃣ goals
2018/19 – 1️⃣2️⃣ goals
How many Premier League goals will Luka Milivojevic score this season?pic.twitter.com/jd4wSyaP1e
— Goal (@goal) August 9, 2019
His good domestic form has resulted in him being recalled to the Serbia squad after a a 12-month absence following a fall-out with former coach Mladen Krstajic.
With Krstajic now gone, his replacement, Ljubisa Tumbakovic, has brought Milivojevic back in from the cold and he could feature in the nation’s upcoming Euro 2020 qualifiers against Portugal and Luxembourg.