Tottenham Hotspur have their best chance of signing Nikola Milenkovic from Fiorentina within the next couple of weeks, according to reports in Italy.
Milenkovic is one of many centre-backs to be linked with Tottenham in recent weeks. Following the departure of Toby Alderweireld, their need for new defenders has only increased. Even before the Belgian left, they were aiming to make two signings in the department.
The priority target seems to be Cristian Romero of Atalanta, but he would cost around €60m. As such, they could consider cheaper alternatives. A recent report named Milenkovic as one of their three backup options.
The Serbian defender is in the final year of his contract with Fiorentina and seems ready for a new challenge. He could be open to a Premier League move if Tottenham can present an appropriate offer.
There is a growing acceptance in Florence that Milenkovic will be on the move. Although whether that will be to north London or not remains to be seen.
According to La Nazione, Milenkovic’s future should be decided within the first half of August. Presumably, Fiorentina want to resolve the situation before the season gets underway, to avoid any additional distractions.
Their ideal scenario would be for the 23-year-old to renew his contract, though that seems increasingly unlikely. Therefore, they are ready to listen to offers.
In addition to Tottenham, La Nazione mention Juventus as an interested party. Hence, Spurs managing director Fabio Paratici could go head-to-head with his former employers.
Neither club are believed to have made an official approach yet. But Fiorentina will await concrete offers in the next couple of weeks.
Hence, a window of opportunity has now opened for Tottenham if they want to sign Milenkovic.
Tottenham eye ex-Man Utd option
Paratici’s strategy has been to monitor several targets at once before picking his priority.
Now, the search for a new centre-back has become more convoluted after a former Manchester United player was linked.
Chris Smalling has resurrected his career since moving to Italy with Roma. But Calciomercato claim he could return to his home country with Tottenham.
Smalling would be a cheaper option than Romero, but less for the long-term. Besides, it remains to be seen if Jose Mourinho would help the club who sacked him just three months ago.
Milenkovic would seem to be an easier target to acquire if Tottenham firm up their interest.