Manchester United are reportedly facing stiff competition from Chelsea in the race to sign Nikola Milenkovic this coming summer.

According to a report by Italian outlet Milan News, Manchester United are not the only Premier League hot in pursuit of Nikola Milenkovic heading into the summer transfer window. The Red Devils have Chelsea as their competitors in the race to sign the 23-year-old Fiorentina defender.

Milenkovic joined Fiorentina from Partizan Belgrade in the summer of 2017 and has since gone on to establish himself as one of the best centre-backs on show in Serie A. A mainstay at the back for La Viola, the Serbian international has turned out 130 times for the Italian club, even chipping in with 11 goals and an assist.

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His progress over the last few years has invariably ended up catching the eye of some of the biggest clubs across Europe. Chief among the suitors are Manchester United, who now face stiff competition from Chelsea in the race to sign Milenkovic.

Manchester United hold a long-standing interest in Milenkovic, who can also be a possible solution on the right side of the defence, where there is no backup for Aaron Wan-Bissaka. Primarily, though, it is as a centre-back that Manchester United could find value for the 23-year-old, despite the fact that Eric Bailly recently signed a new long-term deal.

Indeed, the Ivorian has blown hot and cold while struggling with injuries all through his stint with Manchester United, while Victor Lindelof has also dealt with a chronic back issue this season. To that end, Milenkovic is a viable target for the Red Devils, who must stave off Chelsea now in his pursuit.

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Chelsea have been briefly linked with Milenkovic and their interest in him makes sense. The Blues need to plan for life after Thiago Silva, who is well into the twilight of his career, while Fikayo Tomori could be on his way out of Stamford Bridge on a permanent deal as well. To that end, a move for a centre-back becomes somewhat imperative.

Both Manchester United and Chelsea could fancy their chances of snapping up the youngster, who is expected to leave Fiorentina this summer, seeing as his contract has a little over a year left to run out. What now remains to be seen is where Milenkovic ends up going ahead of the 2021/22 season.

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