For the third offseason in a row, Nikola Milenković has been at the center of Fiorentina’s outgoing transfer rumors. After all, who wouldn’t want a 1.95-meter tall center-back who’s good with the ball at his feet and has the athleticism to compete with anyone?
But, once again, Milenković is set to stay. And this time, it won’t only be for one extra year.
Milenković has re-signed for four additional years, with his new contract taking him until the end of the 2026-27 campaign. It’s hard to understate just how important this move is for the Viola. At Milenković’s rumored price of €15 million, there was no possible replacement anywhere near that price who can do the things he does. I have no idea why clubs such as Napoli, Lazio, or Roma weren’t pushing for him all summer, as he’s as good as anyone on their backlines right now.
Milenković re-signing is a win-win for both the player and Fiorentina. Now, Nikola knows he will play every possible minute he can in the lead-up to the World Cup, where he will surely shine and show his value. In addition, he’s rumored to now be the Viola’s highest earner at over €3 million net, and it could be higher still as according to Joe Barone, there is no release clause in the contract.
For the Viola, one of the centerpieces of the entire sporting project is now under team control for five years, which is splendid. With no release clause, any sale now will be for an amount close to his true valuation, which would allow investment in a player worthy of being his successor. For now, we can go into next season with one of Serie A’s top center-back partnerships. If he and Igor can take the steps forwards that we know they are capable of, then we’ll be looking at one of the best partnerships in Europe.
While I typically shy away from dubbing current players “as good as a new signing,” in the case of Milenković, that mantra is warranted. Milenković staying is a big step towards the Viola being in Europe consistently in the near future, and now the club can focus on one last midfield signing before the window shuts in three weeks’ time. Once again, though, we have to be impressed by the work of Joe Barone, Daniele Pradè and Nicolas Burdisso. This is a statement signing that will invigorate everyone around the club as the season begins in three days.