Nikola Milenkovic looks set to leave Fiorentina this summer with Manchester United one of two clubs leading the chase to sign him.
As reported here previously, the centre-back could be an ideal reinforcement for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s defence, which has lost Chris Smalling and Marcos Rojo recently and which can no longer count on Phil Jones.
United have been linked with the Serbian for some time and according to Calciomercato.com, he looks almost certain to come onto the market this summer.
‘His contract expires in 2022,’ the outlet says, ‘but Nikola Milenkovic has already said goodbye to Fiorentina: “Here at Fiorentina I became a man. Fiorentina welcomed me from day one as if I had always been here and made me grow a lot. I feel I have grown a lot both mentally and as a footballer”. Words that smell of goodbye.’
This leaves Fiorentina with little option other than to sell the 23-year-old this summer. They are ‘hoping to collect around 30 million euros’ according to the report – just £26 million.
‘There are two teams in the Premier League that have taken their first steps with the footballer’s entourage, showing interest and taking information: Manchester United, looking for young defenders, and West Ham’, the report continues.
‘Those who have not yet moved but are evaluating the profile of the Serbian centre-back are Everton and Tottenham, who are willing to invest in the market.’
With both Milan clubs also interested but not financially in a position to move, Calciomercato concludes that ‘Milenkovic has his suitcases in hand and only the ticket to leave is missing, with the Premier League looking to be the most likely destination.’
Milenkovic is a compatriot of one of United’s greatest defenders of all time, Nemanja Vidic and whilst not quite as much of a physical rock as Vidic, there is certainly that Serbian grit to his game. He is also pacy and has strong positional awareness, elements that are needed as a counterfoil to the likes of Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof.
Compared to other rumoured targets, Milenkovic’s price point is superb and he can also play right back, providing cover for Aaron Wan-Bissaka. This makes the Serbian a very interesting prospect indeed for the summer transfer market.