Plan E for Mourinho as Man Utd boss jets off to watch new target

Date published: Thursday 11th October 2018 9:29 - James Marshment

Jose Mourinho is reportedly set to watch his latest central defensive transfer target in action for his country on Thursday evening as the Manchester United boss ponders whether to make a January move to sign him.

Mourinho will, according to reports in Serbia, personally scout Fiorentina defender Nikola Milenkovic during their international clash in Montenegro on Thursday evening.

The 20-year-old defender has been earmarked as a potential answer to United’s centre-back issues after summer deals for Toby Alderweireld and Harry Maguire failed to materialise.

United have since been linked with Inter Milan’s Milan Skriniar and Alessio Romagnoli of AC Milan, and while both would be preferred choices for Mourinho, deals to land either – especially in January – will likely prove extremely difficult.

And with his options said to be narrowing, Mourinho is now likely to have to consider a fifth option in Milenkovic. Benfica’s Ruben Dias is also reportedly emerging as a target.

Milenkovic has earned a big reputation in Serie A after becoming one of the first names on the Fiorentina team sheet. He reportedly carries a price tag of around £40million.

The fee is unlikely to put the United boss off if he likes what he sees from the young defender and as he bids to find an answer to the club’s ongoing central defensive struggles.

News of the interest in Milenkovic comes on the day that Tottenham joined Arsenal in the hunt to sign defender Eric Bailly, who appears to have fallen out with Mourinho at Old Trafford.

It’s reported Mourinho will also use the match to make a check on another long-term target, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, who is likely to start in Serbia’s midfield.


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