Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur have reportedly made contact with the agent of Fiorentina defender Nikola Milenkovic over the possibility of a transfer.
According to Italian publication La Nazione, Premier League rivals Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur have made approaches for Fiorentina’s Serbian centre-back Nikola Milenkovic, whose contract is set to expire in the summer of 2022.
Having come through the ranks at Serbian outfit Partizan Belgrade, Milenkovic joined Fiorentina in the summer of 2017 and has since grown into a key player for the club. This past weekend saw the 23-year-old reach a major milestone as he made his 100th Serie A appearance for the Viola in the 1-1 draw against Hellas Verona.
Milenkovic has played every single minute of Fiorentina’s season so far in the league as well as Coppa Italia, scoring two goals and setting up one more. A vital player in the side, Milenkovic’s contract situation has led to speculations over his immediate future at Stadio Artemio Franchi.
Indeed, the 26-time capped Serbian international’s current deal with Fiorentina runs out in eighteen months, which has led to interest in him from a number of clubs across Europe, including Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur.
This is not the first time Manchester United have been linked with Milenkovic, with the Red Devils having made an approach for him in the summer last year. And, as per the report, given the current circumstances surrounding his contract, United have made multiple approaches to his agent, Fali Ramadani, to explore the possibility of a transfer.
It is understandable as to why Manchester United are looking at Milenkovic to bolster their defence. Neither Victor Lindelof nor Harry Maguire have been solid enough on a consistent basis this term while Eric Bailly continues to battle injury issues. With Marcos Rojo and Phil Jones not part of the plans anymore, adding another quality operator at the back makes sense.
However, Manchester United will have to battle former manager Jose Mourinho, who is believed to be keen on bringing Milenkovic to Tottenham Hotspur. The Lilywhites strengthened their backline with the signing of Joe Rodon in the summer but there is an air of uncertainty surrounding the future of Davinson Sanchez, who has struggled whenever given a chance.
Japhet Tanganga’s injury problems and Rodon’s lack of experience at the highest level makes the addition of another centre-back like Milenkovic, who has been playing top-flight football in Italy for three years now, a plausible move for Mourinho & co.
Apart from the two English clubs, AC Milan are also said to be heavily interested in signing the 23-year-old. Fiorentina, for their part, are hoping to tie Milenkovic down to a new long-term contract, but should an offer in the range of €25 million come along, they are prepared to let go of the Serb.
It remains to be seen if either of Manchester United or Tottenham do launch a move for Milenkovic in January or at the end of the season. As things stand, it does seem like the centre-back might not remain a Fiorentina player beyond this season, though.