Tottenham and Chelsea will have to prioritise other centre-backs after rumoured target Nikola Milenkovic pledged his future to Fiorentina by penning a new contract there.
Tottenham have been keeping tabs on Milenkovic’s situation for several months. Spurs chief Fabio Paratici is known to be a big admirer of the defender following his time working at Juventus.
According to a recent report from Tuttosport, talks between Spurs and Milenkovic’s agent have been ‘intensifying’.
Antonio Conte already has good options in the centre of defence, including Eric Dier, Ben Davies, Clement Lenglet and Cristian Romero. However, Milenkovic is a player with great potential who could make them even stronger. And signing a player of his quality would help Conte as he aims to end Spurs’ trophy drought.
On Friday, new reports in Italy put Chelsea on Milenkovic’s trail. The Blues need defensive reinforcements, and having lost out on Jules Kounde may have turned to the 24-year-old.
However, both Premier League sides will now struggle to capture Milenkovic. That’s because he has agreed a new five-year contract with Serie A outfit Fiorentina.
Following the announcement, the player took part in a press conference. He said (via the Fiorentina official website): “I love this club and this city. I am excited and happy to stay at Fiorentina. The club has shown that it has great ambition.
“The goal is to improve what we did last year in Serie A, and win the Europa Conference League. It would be great.
Nikola Milenkovic labels himself a Fiorentina ‘leader’
“I thank the fans, they give us a big push. Playing at the Franchi will be tough for everyone.”
He added: “Now I feel like a leader of this team, I made an important choice for my future when I realised that this decision is what I wanted most on the inside.”
Of course, there is still a chance Spurs or Chelsea could land the Serbian. However, it will now cost them far more to get Fiorentina to agree to a sale.
Milenkovic’s previous contract with the Italian club was due to expire in summer 2023. But now Fiorentina can hold out for a major sum as they are under no pressure with regards to a free-transfer exit.
Chelsea & Spurs battling for Nikola Milenkovic of Fiorentina
Fiorentina centre-half Nikola Milenkovic is the subject of interest from both Chelsea and Tottenham this summer.
Spurs will now begin to target other centre-backs, if it is a position they truly want to strengthen. Right now though, it seems the north London outfit are focusing on players who will depart.
Tanguy Ndombele is the centre of a transfer tussle between Newcastle and Unai Emery’s Villarreal. Japhet Tanganga is wanted by AC Milan, though Roma could scupper that move.
And finally there is Giovani Lo Celso. A Spanish team is in the driving seat to land him after Fiorentina decided against taking their talks any further.