Manchester United have received a lifeline in their chase for Fiorentina defender Nikola Milenkovic, with Serie A champions Juventus pulling out of the race.
According to an exclusive report from Italian outlet Calciomercato, Manchester United have received a major boost in their pursuit of Serbian centre-back Nikola Milenkovic. The Red Devils have been monitoring the Fiorentina man for a while now and have seen their chances of landing him in the summer get boosted, with fellow suitors Juventus backing out of the race.
Milenkovic, who came through the youth ranks at Partizan Belgrade back in his homeland, switched to Fiorentina in 2017 and has established himself as one of the finest young defenders in the Serie A. In his second season with the Viola, the 21-year-old has made 52 appearances for the club, 35 of which have come this term, scoring three goals.
Having made his international debut in June last year, Milenkovic has turned out 12 times for the Serbian national team till date. A versatile operator, Milenkovic can play as a centre-back as well as a right-back and has shown composure beyond his age, which has led to interest in him from a number of clubs, most notably Manchester United.
It is no secret that the 20-time English champions are in need of a major rebuild after what has been a disastrous 2018-19 campaign. The defence, apart from Victor Lindelof, has been all over the place and the issue needs immediate addressing if Manchester United are to fare better in the next season.
Manchester United have been monitoring Milenkovic for a while now. The youngster has shown great potential in his fledgling career and can be a solution to two problem positions for the Red Devils, with his ability to play as a centre-half and a right-sided full-back.
However, there had been significant interest in him from Juventus as well, which was seen as a hindrance for the Premier League giants. The Serie A champions are on the lookout to refresh their ageing backline ahead of the next season, as they look to push for that elusive Champions League trophy and Milenkovic had emerged as a potential target.
But, as per the report, Juventus have decided to withdraw their interest in the 21-year-old. Director Fabio Paratici is a huge admirer of Milenkovic, but has been disappointed by some of his recent displays, which has led to the Bianconeri reconsidering their stance on him. Instead, they have switched their attention to Benfica’s Ruben Dias, who also is a Manchester United target.
With Juventus deciding to back out of the race, Manchester United have a clear shot at signing Milenkovic in the summer. The Red Devils had reportedly come up with an offer for the Serb last summer, but were shot down by Fiorentina, who value him at €50 million. It remains to be seen if they decide to go back for him this time out and if so, whether they are able to sign him or not.