Chelsea and Manchester United could reportedly battle it out for the signing of Inter Milan defensive mainstay Milan Skriniar in the summer transfer window.
According to a report from Italian outlet FC Inter News, Inter Milan centre-back Milan Skriniar is attracting plenty of interest from the Premier League, with both Chelsea and Manchester United interested in signing him in the summer.
Having joined Inter Milan from fellow Serie A outfit Sampdoria in the summer of 2017, Skriniar has steadily grown into one of the most reliable centre-backs in the Italian top-flight. Apart from a brief spell last season when he seemed out of favour under manager Antonio Conte, the 26-year-old has been an ever-present at the back for the Nerazzurri.
Skriniar, to date, has made 156 appearances for Inter Milan, 28 of which have come in the ongoing campaign, with the Slovakian centre-back essaying an important role as Conte & co. look set to bring an end to Juventus’s monopoly in Serie A at last. And his growth has now attracted interest from both Chelsea and Manchester United as per the report.
Chelsea strengthened their defensive unit last summer with the signing of Thiago Silva. However, at 36, the veteran Brazilian is a stop-gap option at best. Furthermore, Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger have worked their way back into the first-team under new manager Thomas Tuchel.
However, Silva’s age, coupled with the situation of Fikayo Tomori, who is on loan at AC Milan and could be poised to make the transfer permanent, could warrant the addition of a new centre-back at Stamford Bridge come the end of the season, making Skriniar a viable target.
Manchester United, meanwhile, are also in the market for a new centre-half as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer looks for an ideal long-term, reliable defensive partner for club captain Harry Maguire. Victor Lindelof has blown hot and cold while Eric Bailly remains an injury concern and with Phil Jones’ future uncertain, a new defender would be a welcome addition.
To that end, Manchester United have been heavily linked with a move for Real Madrid superstar Raphael Varane. Skriniar could, however, represent a cheaper alternative for the French World Cup winner, with Inter Milan likely to do business for a transfer fee of around €50 million, as per the report.
Skriniar is contracted with Inter Milan till the summer of 2023. The Slovak is believed to be very happy with the Nerazzurri and has his sights set on the club captaincy when current skipper Samir Handanovic hangs his boots up. Plus with Inter Milan challenging for titles again, both Chelsea and Manchester United might find it difficult to convince him to make the switch in the summer.