According to a report from Mirror, Manchester United have submitted a £45m bid for Fiorentina defender Nikola Milenkovic while keeping tabs on Leicester City’s Harry Maguire, who will cost United £75m.
However, the Red Devils remain the frontrunners to get the signature of the former Hull City man amidst interest from Manchester City (h/t Mirror).
Besides that, United have now added Serie A centre-back to their wishlist.
Milenkovic broke into the spotlight with his performances for Serbia in the World Cup last year, where he etched his name as one of the promising defenders of his generation.
The 21-year-old, who was also a part of the Serbian team in the recent U21 tournament, joined Fiorentina in 2017 and he became a regular for his side last season.
The former Partizan youngster was a cog in the defence last season, helping Fiorentina maintain 10 clean sheets – the 10th highest in the league.
The Red Devils are in need of defenders after witnessing a lacklustre season in which their centre-backs largely failed to pull the strings together. Their defensive record (57 goals conceded) clearly indicates how United suffered, despite the presence of stars like Chris Smalling, Phil Jones and Ashley Young.
Given that, United could secure the services of the Serbian centre-back Milenkovic rather than going for Foxes centre-back Maguire.
The Serbian international has been regular for his national team and featured in all major tournaments.
In fact, Milenkovic held a pass success percentage of around 80 in all competitions and bagged 2 Man of the Match awards. Despite being a natural centre-back, he is also adept at playing as a left-back.
A physically tall and astute player, Milenkovic is often credited with the defensive contributions, having averaged 1.7 tackles and 1.4 interceptions per game last season.
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A comparison across leagues does not make sense but Milenkovic is still a player deemed with great potential and responsibilities at this young age and he is more capable of quickly adapting to United’s style of play.
United have been lucrative in the current transfer window so far, with the acquisitions of Daniel James and Aaron Wan-Bissaka. Given that defensive reinforcements are needed as well, they must move for young talents like Milenkovic.
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