Manchester United and Chelsea have reportedly been slapped with a £38 million price tag for Fiorentina defender Nikola Milenkovic.
According to The Sun, Nikola Milenkovic is on the verge of leaving Fiorentina this summer. The player’s current contract expires in 2022 and there has been no indication of the deal being extended further. It has put Manchester United and Chelsea on red alert while AC Milan are tracking the situation as well.
Manchester United, in particular, have stepped up their pursuit of Milenkovic recently, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer desperate to bolster his defensive options in the summer. Fiorentina, however, are determined to receive at least £38 million for the services of their prized centre-back.
A product of the Partizan youth academy, Milenkovic has been a part of the Serie A side since 2017. He has notched up over 125 competitive appearances for the Violas, emerging as a defensive lynchpin for the team.
The 23-year-old defender’s performances has taken a slight dip in the ongoing campaign as Fiorentina continue to struggle in Serie A. But that hasn’t deterred the potential suitors including AC Milan, who have identified Milenkovic as their desired alternative for Fikayo Tomori, who is on loan from Chelsea.
The Blues are already bracing themselves for a defensive overhaul in the summer, as Thomas Tuchel looks to find a long-term replacement for Thiago Silva. While Tomori is likely to be offloaded, someone like Milenkovic could be an ideal partner for Andreas Christensen, as the Serb can offer the grit to the Dane’s grace – ultimately ushering a nice variety in the Chelsea backline.
However, Chelsea are set to face stiff competition from Manchester United, who are desperate to add more competition in their defensive unit for the upcoming campaign.
The current crop of centre-backs, including Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof, have both struggled to offer the consistency that has ultimately deterred the Red Devils back in their pursuit of a title challenge. In addition, Manchester United have been tipped to offload Eric Bailly, who is unsettled at Old Trafford due to the lack of game-time.
It could ideally pave the way for Milenkovic to become the primary alternative for Lindelof at Manchester United next season. However, it is fair to point out that Solskjaer is also courting other options, including Joachim Andersen, who is currently on loan at Fulham and also a target for Chelsea.
Either way, it appears both Manchester United and Chelsea are set for a busy transfer window, especially to bolster their respective defensive units and it won’t be surprising to see them tussling against each other for the pursuit of top players across Europe this summer, and it remains to be seen if they are prepared to pay £38 million to land Milenkovic.