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Report: Manchester United enquire about Milenković

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The hulking Serbian defender has been linked with a move out of Italy for nearly a year, so this isn’t too surprising.

ACF Fiorentina v Genoa CFC - Serie A Photo by Giuseppe Bellini/Getty Images

Manchester United have reportedly spent the past year trying to pry Nikola Milenković away from Fiorentina, but thus far the Tuscans have proved impervious to the Red Devils’ efforts. According to Gianluca di Marzio, though, the Mancunians have lodged an official enquiry with the Viola, which will probably lead to a lengthy set of negotiations for the 21-year-old defender.

As we said, it’s not the first time Man U have registered an interest in him; the English side supposedly offered €40 million for him, but were rebuffed as the Italians held out for €50 million. With a new owner and a new DS running things, though, perhaps the hope is that there’ll be a change of heart in Florence, especially as Rocco Commisso does everything possible to keep Federico Chiesa around; if that requires raising funds, Milenković could be sacrificed at the altar of Fede.

While he probably hasn’t added to his worth on the market this past year—like the rest of the team, he suffered through a poor second half to the season—he’s still one of the best young centerbacks in the world. While his size and strength are his most obvious attributes, he’s much pacier than you’d think, as he’s demonstrated by spending a good bit of his time at fullback. He’s comfortable staying in front of quick dribblers and tracks opposing runners well. He’s also not bad on the ball, although that’s an area he has room to grow in. If his reading of the game catches up his tackling and his physical attributes, he’ll be in the conversation for world’s best; even if it doesn’t, he’s still a top player.

He’s also firmly established as an international star, making the €5.1 million the Viola paid to Partizan Belgrade for his services in 2017 look like a fine piece of business (Pantaleo Corvino, take a bow). Already with 14 caps under his belt, including starting all 3 games for his country at the World Cup last year, you can’t call him a prospect anymore. Too, he’s represented by super-agent Pedro Pereira, who’s previously moved Viola defenders Matija Nastasić and Marcos Alonso to the Premier League. Don’t be surprised if Nihola is the next to follow in their footsteps.