Nikola Milenkovic

Di Marzio: Man United have ‘strong interest’ in Fiorentina defender Nikola Milenkovic

As per a report from reliable Italian journalist Gianluca Di Marzio, Premier League giants Manchester United are keen on the signature of Fiorentina star Nikola Milenkovic.

Fiorentina standout

Milenkovic, a 21-year-old central defender who can also play at right-back, made the move to Fiorentina from Partizan last summer, for a fee of around 5 million Euro.

The Serbian international subsequently went on to start just 14 Serie A games during his debut campaign in Florence, though, significantly, 9 of these starts came during the Viola’s final 10 league outings, as Milenkovic began to showcase his immense potential.

The imposing stopper combines a stout defensive presence with an impressive ability to step forward out of his side’s backline with the ball at his feet, with Milenkovic having proven an absolute stalwart at club level so far this season.

Despite having only turned 21 in October, the Serb has started in all but one of Fiorentina’s 16 league outings.

Philippe Coutinho Brazil World Cup

Philippe Coutinho is tackled by Nikola Milenkovic of Serbia during the 2018 FIFA World Cup

Man United interest

As such, the interest of a number of European heavyweights in Milenkovic’s services has come as little surprise.

In Italy, Serie A champions Juventus are said to be keeping a close eye on the Partizan youth product’s development.

Manchester City and Manchester United, meanwhile, represent the interested parties from the Premier League.

United, though, have been the club by far the most-persistently touted as a potential future destination for Milenkovic, with Red Devils’ boss Jose Mourinho having even travelled to Montenegro in October to watch the 10-time capped international in action for Serbia.

And, as per the aforementioned report from the reliable Gianluca Di Marzio, United have a ‘strong interest’ in securing Milenkovic’s signature.

Di Marzio suggests that a bid could be forthcoming on the part of the Manchester giants in the near future.

United’s defensive struggles

It is common knowledge that Jose Mourinho requested for the board at Old Trafford to bring in a new centre-half this summer.

In the end, though, United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward failed to supply the Portuguese tactician with what was deemed as an absolute necessity, with United having since had to make do with the quartet of Phil Jones, Eric Bailly, Victor Lindelof and Chris Smalling.

And to say that the Red Devils have struggled defensively in the aftermath of their summer recruitment bust would be something of an understatement.

To this point in the campaign, Mourinho’s men have conceded a hefty 33 goals between the league and Champions League.

As a result, United currently sit 6th in the Premier League table, a full 19 points adrift of leaders Liverpool.

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