Euro Paper Talk: Man Utd leading four-way tussle for top defender with serious benchmark fee

Date published: Friday 5th February 2021 12:18 - Jonny Whitfield

Ante Rebic, Nikola Milenkovic

Manchester United lead a four-way race for a top European defender, while Everton are the favourites for a Real Madrid star – all in the latest Euro Paper Talk.

MAN UTD LEADING MILEKNOVIC RACE

Manchester United are leading a four-way battle with Italian clubs to sign Fiorentina defender Nikola Milenkovic, according to a report.

Following calls for boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to get the sack earlier in the season, United have improved of late. Indeed, the Red Devils sit second in the Premier League table after 22 games.

However, there is obvious room for improvement, especially at centre-back. The Manchester Evening News has reported that Old Trafford chiefs are aware that £80million signing Harry Maguire needs an ‘upgrade’ next to him.

Several names have been mentioned as targets in the past, with Milenkovic a more recent addition to the list.

According to Calciomercato, United remain keen on the 23-year-old. What’s more, they lead the race for his signature ahead of Inter, AC Milan and Juventus.

The source notes that the Italian trio are ‘now in the background’ in the race for the Serbian. Therefore, his future looks destined to take him to England.

However, United face a financial battle to sign Milenkovic. Calciomercato adds that Fiorentina will ask for at least €35million (£30million) for the centre-back.

Spurs have also been linked with a swoop in the past for a player who has played in all but one of his team’s Serie A games this season. He has kept five clean sheets, while also chipping in with two goals and one assist.


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AND THE REST FROM EURO PAPER TALK

Everton are currently the favourites to sign Real Madrid midfielder Isco if he chooses to leave. (Don Balon)

Barcelona defender Gerard Pique says that Madrid mistreated Gareth Bale before his move to Tottenham. (Marca)

Belgium head coach Roberto Martinez admits that he is following Leeds’ Pascal Struijk very closely. (Het Laatste Nieuws)

Martinez has also praised Wolves midfielder Leander Dendoncker for making “tremendous” progress. (Het Laatste Nieuws)

LIVERPOOL, MADRID FAVOURITES FOR MBAPPE

Kylian Mbappe

Liverpool and Real Madrid remain in pole position for Kylian Mbappe if he decides to leave Paris Saint-Germain. (AS)

Leeds director of football Victor Orta has highlighted how some players have become “marginalised” due to new transfer rules imposed by Brexit. (AS)

Leicester are keen to ward off potential suitors by tying midfielder Youri Tielemans down to a new contract. (Het Laatste Nieuws)

Marcos Rojo has suffered an immediate injury in Boca Juniors training due to his lack of recent activity. (Ole)

LUIZ BACKS WILLIAN

Willian Arsenal

Meanwhile, Arsenal defender David Luiz says that his Brazilian teammate Willian will overcome his poor form. (ESPN)

Fluminense have asked the Brazilian FA to speak to FIFA about a change in legislation over young players. Indeed, they feel concerned about Manchester City’s approaches for teenage talents Kayky and Metinho. (Globo Esporte)

Coronavirus regulations in Turkey scuppered Danny Rose’s deadline day move from Tottenham to Trabzonspor. (FotoSpor)

Barcelona’s Sergi Roberto has suffered a recurrence of the injury which kept him out for two months. (Marca)

AJAX MAN BANNED FOR DOPING

Andre Onana Ajax

Ajax goalkeeper Andre Onana has been given a 12-month ban after taking Furosemide, a banned substance. However, the Dutch club will appeal on the grounds that he took his wife’s medication accidentally. (Goal)

Real Madrid have set Sergio Ramos a deadline of the end of March to decide on his future. The 34-year-old has entered the final months of his deal, but has yet to set in stone his next plan. (Mundo Deportivo)

Meanwhile, Atletico Madrid are considering playing their Champions League first-leg clash with Chelsea away from the Wanda Metropolitano. However, concerns related to Covid-19 are at a precautionary level for now. (AS)

Blues loanee Fikayo Tomori will start for AC Milan against Crotone on Sunday. (Tuttosport)

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