Manchester United are reportedly stepping up their interest in Fiorentina defender Nikola Milenkovic, as they look to bolster their defensive unit.
According to a report from the print edition of Corriere dello Sport, as carried by Sport Witness, Manchester United’s efforts to land Serbian defender Nikola Milenkovic are getting ‘louder’ ahead of the summer transfer window.
The 23-year-old has grown into a mainstay at the back for the Viola since joining the club in 2017. Regarded as one of the brightest young centre-backs in Serie A, Milenkovic has racked up 120 appearances for Fiorentina, 24 of which have come this term, with the centre-back just one league game all season due to a suspension.
However, Milenkovic’s future at the club has become a hot topic of discussion for quite some time now, with the Serbian international set to enter the final year of his contract with Fiorentina at the end of the season. This puts the Serie A outfit in a difficult position as they will need to cash in on him in the summer if he does not pen a new deal.
Milenkovic’s contract situation has put a host of clubs, including the likes of Liverpool and Manchester United on high-alert. However, it seems like the Red Devils are now stepping up their efforts to land the 23-year-old in the upcoming transfer window.
Manchester United have plenty of options in the central defensive department currently. However, Victor Lindelof has struggled for consistency while Eric Bailly’s tryst with injuries makes him an unreliable option for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer while Axel Tuanzebe hasn’t been able to break his way into the senior setup.
With Phil Jones’ future at Old Trafford also up in the air, it makes sense for the 20-time English champions to look for another centre-back in the summer in order to add some more steel to the defence. And someone like Milenkovic could prove to be the ideal foil for Maguire, given the Serbian’s mobility.
Moreover, the fact that he will be in the final year of his contract would mean he is likely to be available at a reduced price in comparison to Manchester United’s other defensive target, Jules Kounde, who is likely to cost them around the €70 million mark.
Considering that they are also looking to bolster the right-back position with Max Aarons, the Red Devils will need to go about their transfer business in a shrewd manner, keeping in mind the current financial circumstances.
It remains to be seen whether Manchester United’s increased efforts to land Milenkovic bear fruits in the summer or if they are forced to look at other options.