Manchester United have reportedly been told to lay off their hands on the Serbian defender by the Serie A club’s chief executive.

As reported by Goal (h/t Gazzetta dello Sport), Manchester United have been snubbed in their attempt to poach Fiorentina defender Nikola Milenkovic. The stern reply was given as public statement to the press by chief executive Pantaleo Corvino, as a message to the interested clubs for their side’s players.

Corvino told Gazzetta dello Sport, “We rejected great offers from Lyon for [Jordan] Veretout, from Marseille for [Giovani] Simeone and from Manchester United for Nikola Milenkovic. [Aurelio] De Laurentiis pressed for [Federico] Chiesa. This is the right way to grow.”

The hype around the 21-year-old was already bubbling in the summer transfer window, when a bid from Old Trafford was lodged to the Italian club. The player joined the Viola from Partizan Belgrade in a €5.1 million and Manchester United are reportedly ready to bid more than 10 times that figure.

Jose Mourinho, who was sacked by Manchester United last month, had set his eyes on the Serbian defender. The deal did not materialise because of his priorities being set elsewhere, although the interest was very much alive even after the summer transfer window.

Staying put at Fiorentina. (Photo by Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images)

Staying put at Fiorentina. (Photo by Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images)

In fact, the Portuguese took extra efforts and went to Serbia to watch him in action against Montenegro during October’s international break.

It would be a dubious guess if we predicted what the new man at helm, Ole Gunnar Solskjær would do with this transfer target, but it is believed that Milenkovic still remains on Manchester United’s transfer wishlist.

The Manchester United interim boss hasn’t yet overseen a loss since taking over, and has said that he is quite happy with the squad he has in his hand and believes that the winter transfer window isn’t for him, at least for now.

Solskjaer said, “I’m happy with squad I’ve got. I don’t expect anyone to come in but obviously if the club have targeted and identified a few and I think they might fit here, I’ll give my thumbs up. But it’s not just my decision. Nobody had to tell me I had loads of talented players [to inherit at Manchester United]. I can see that from outside.”

Manchester United are currently having a splendid spell, that continued with the win over Arsenal in the FA Cup. While defence remains an issue, it looks like they will have to suffice without signing a defender this month, with Fiorentina determined to keep hold of their prized asset.