Manchester United are set to step up their hunt of Fiorentina’s £38m-rated defender Nikola Milenkovic.
Nikola Milenkovic, 23, joined Fiorentina in 2017 from Partizan Belgrade and has become a mainstay at the Serie A club in recent years, managing more than 125 appearances. The Serb has emerged as Fiorentina’s defensive leader, although his performances haven’t been up to the mark this season as the Violas continue to struggle in Serie A.
The 23-year-old defender has a contract with Fiorentina until 2022 and it is believed he’ll not pen a new deal, so the Italian club’s hand could be forced if they want to recoup a fee for one of their assets, rather than risk losing him for absolutely nothing at the end of next campaign. Milenkovic’s situation has also alerted Chelsea, while AC Milan could also make a move for the defender if they cannot sign Fikayo Tomori permanently from Chelsea.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wants a long-term partner for Harry Maguire
Manchester United have looked defensively more sound and robust of late, keeping eight clean sheets in 12 games across all formats. The partnership of Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof at the heart of United’s defence has shown signs of consistency, with full-backs Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Luke Shaw impressing too. However, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is keen to sign a defender that can become Maguire’s long-term partner at Old Trafford.
Maguire has performed brilliantly after a slow start to the season, racking up 47 appearances in which he has registered two goals and an assist. The England international is yet to miss a minute of Premier League action this campaign, which demonstrates his fitness levels and durability.
However, the same cannot be spoken of Maguire’s teammates, as Victor Lindelof has struggled with persistent back problems and Eric Bailly is yet to fully prove his fitness to Solskjaer. Axel Tuanzebe has still not got a run of games to establish himself at the club, while Phil Jones is yet to feature this campaign.
The Red Devils have stopped leaking goals at an alarming rate which they were doing at the start of the 2020/21 campaign. That should give Solskjaer a lot of heart and confidence during the business end of the campaign, even though he still is looking for a dependable defender to partner with Maguire.
Is Nikola Milenkovic a good fit at Old Trafford?
Nikola Milenkovic has impressed in Serie A in recent seasons, becoming an indispensable figure for Fiorentina. Standing at 6ft 5in tall, he is a tall, strong and commanding centre-half who is equally adept playing at right-back. Such versatility could be of great help for Solskjaer, who is keen to bring in competition for Aaron Wan-Bissaka too.
Milenkovic is a real threat at both ends of the pitch, with 11 goals for Fiorentina so far justifying that. At the age of 23, the Serbian international is far from being the finished article. He has a lot of room for improvement and can fulfil his top potential under Solskjaer at Old Trafford.
With decent experience on the international stage as well, United could very well be getting themselves a long-term defensive option in the promising Milenkovic.
Here Is Why Manchester United Want To Sign Nikola Milenkovic (Video)