Tottenham Hotspur are currently winning the race to sign centre-back Nikola Milenkovic from Fiorentina, according to sources close to the Serie A side.
Fabio Paratici is ready to oversee an important summer in the transfer market after taking the job of Managing Director. He will have to shape the squad for new head coach Nuno Espirito Santo. Strengthening in defence is an absolute priority and ex-Juventus chief Paratici could look back to Serie A to do so.
The Serbia international has been a reliable player for Fiorentina since joining them from Partizan in 2017. A young prospect at the time of his move, he now has 121 Serie A appearances to his name. Still only 23, he has the potential to develop further.
Now, as his contract enters its final year, Milenkovic is likely to move on from Fiorentina. The Premier League could be a potential destination.
West Ham were recently reported to have made the first move. However, Viola News claim that their offer has been rejected. What’s more, Milenkovic is more likely to move elsewhere in London.
Tottenham are now apparently leading the race to sign the defender, who can also feature as a right-back – although perhaps not in Nuno’s formation.
Instead, he would be a useful reinforcement at centre-back, an area in which Paratici is targeting two signings.
Spurs have opened talks with Southampton over the potential signing of Jannik Vestergaard and are also keen on Lyon’s Joachim Andersen. But they are not necessarily the two that will arrive; the club are also keen on Wolves’ Conor Coady and Bologna’s Takehiro Tomiyasu.
Milenkovic fits into Nuno system
It seems Milenkovic is now firmly on their radar too. Fiorentina often used a back three last season, a system in which Milenkovic is comfortable. He made a total of 37 appearances, a figure only bettered by star striker Dusan Vlahovic and experienced wing-back Cristiano Biraghi.
Therefore, a move to Tottenham may be a good fit if Nuno uses the same system he deployed at Wolves.
Paratici is reportedly in contact with Milenkovic’s agent, Fali Ramadani. He has been boosted by the update that the player is more likely to move to the Premier League than Serie A this summer.
The asking price is somewhere in the region of €25m, with Fiorentina well aware they are running out of time to cash in.