Fiorentina defender Nikola Milenkovic is reported to have turned down the club’s latest offer of a new contract – and has informed the Serie A side he wants to make the Premier League his next port of call.
Milenkovic will have just a year left on his La Viola deal come the summer. So far, he is yet to show any sign of renewing his deal, putting the pressure on Fiorentina to cash in. As such, they may have to cash in on him this summer to avoid losing him for free.
That has led to speculation about a move to the Premier League, where he has a number of admirers. Tottenham were linked with him ahead of the January transfer window.
Those links seem to have cooled somewhat since, with Liverpool instead being touted as a potential suitor. But the main contender for his signature appears to be Manchester United.
United are on the lookout for a new defensive partner for captain Harry Maguire. There are still doubts about Victor Lindelof’s consistency and Eric Bailly’s injury record.
Milenkovic is someone who could strengthen their rearguard. The fact he can cover in two positions (centre-back or right-back) adds to his appeal.
Reports last month United have a “clear advantage” over their rivals in the race to sign Milenkovic. That’s because they have been in talks with his entourage since last summer.
Now, according to Corriere Fiorentino, Milenkovic has informed the club he has no intention of signing an extension. Furthermore, he’s told the Serie A side he wants to move to the Premier League. As such, they report that ‘barring any surprises’ the 23-year-old will play in England next season.
They also list United as the main suitor for his signature. Fiorentina reportedly hope to pocket €30m for Milenkovic. However, financial pressures and the downturn in the market means a fee of nearer €20m-€25m looks more likely.
It’s claimed Fiorentina are yet to receive any firm approaches for Milenkovic, though that situation is expected to change in the coming weeks.
Solskjaer has picture of United squad next season
United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says he has a “picture” of what his team will look like for the start of next season.
United are on track to make progress this season by finishing second in the Premier League table. As such, Solskjaer could receive significant financial backing ahead of the summer transfer window. Indeed, winning the Europa League would add to the manager’s claims for fresh big signings.
Speaking in Friday’s press conference following the international break, Solskjaer opened up on his transfer thinking.
“Of course we have a plan ahead and plan that we think’s going to happen,” he told reporters (via the Manchester Evening News).
“But two months is a long time in football as well. Things might change, so there’s obviously a couple of players that the future’s not decided yet.
“Some without contracts, some with contracts and we do have a certain picture on how the squad’s going to look in August.”