Manchester United are reportedly monitoring the situation of Fiorentina centre-back Nikola Milenkovic, who may leave the club in the summer.
According to a report from Calciomercato.it, Manchester United are keeping close tabs on Nikola Milenkovic. Their scouts were in attendance during Fiorentina’s recent game against Bologna in order to make a detailed assessment of the tall defender.
Milenkovic has been a part of the Fiorentina setup since 2017. But his spell in Florence may soon come to an end as his current contract expires at the end of next season. There are also reports of him having a potential release clause worth just €15 million, but such rumours have been denied by Fiorentina.
Nevertheless, Manchester United are closely monitoring the situation and may pounce on an opportunity to sign the centre-back as part of their planned defensive overhaul for next season.
Indeed, the Red Devils are bracing themselves for a busy summer ahead, with Eric Bailly and Phil Jones likely to head towards the exit door. The former has been targeted by Barcelona, among other clubs, while Jones is likely to attract suitors as well, especially from lower-end Premier League clubs or even the newly-promoted ones.
On top of the uncertain future of Bailly and Jones, there have been calls to replace Harry Maguire next season following his underwhelming performances in defence. It has prompted the club’s hierarchy to scour the market for a top-class centre-back who has enough quality to compete with Maguire and Raphael Varane for a place in the first team next season.
Manchester United have been linked with a summer swoop for Borussia Dortmund centre-back Manuel Akanji. The Swiss international has rejected the advances from the Bundesliga outfit and is expected to leave Germany in the summer. However, he could cost in excess of €30 million, which is where Nikola Milnekovic comes into the fray.
Standing at 1.95m, the Serb has built a reputation for his no-nonsense defensive philosophy in Serie A, having already racked up 162 competitive appearances for Fiorentina in the process. His strong physique, coupled with his experience at the highest level, could make him an excellent alternative for Akanji.
With his current deal at Fiorentina expiring in 2023, the 24-year-old is unlikely to cost a fortune either, potentially making him a smart long-term investment for the Red Devils next summer.