According to reports, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur are preparing to compete for the signature of Fiorentina defender Nikola Milenkovic. The Serbian has made a name for himself in Europe after a string of impressive performances for the Serie A side this season.
The 23-year-old started his career at Partizan and joined Fiorentina in the summer of 2017. This season, the Serbian has been an important figure in the Serie A side's backline and has started all of their 14 league games so far. He recently made his 100th appearance for the Viola and has gone from strength to strength during his time in Italy.
The Serbian’s current contract expires in the summer of 2022 and both Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur are interested in the player. Milenkovic is likely to cost the Premier League side who signs him £23m.
Both Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur need defensive reinforcements
Manchester United have improved since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer first took charge at the club, but there are still a few gaps in the squad, most notably in the backline. Despite investing heavily in Harry Maguire last summer, the Red Devils are yet to find the defensive stability that will help them push for silverware.
The backline was ripped apart at the start of this season when Manchester United conceded 11 goals in the first three league games, including six against Tottenham Hotspur.
Manchester United have been slightly better at the back since their shaky start to the season, but have still conceded ten goals in their last ten league games. As such, Solskjaer might be tempted to move for a center-back in the winter.
Tottenham Hotspur, on the other hand, started the season very well and were even at the top of the league at one point. However, after two back-to-back defeats in the league, Jose Mourinho’s wards suddenly find themselves out of the top four.
The Portuguese will not be impressed by the errors made by the players in the team's current backline and might be tempted to sign another defender.
Tottenham Hotspur already have Eric Dier, Toby Alderweireld, and Davinson Sanchez in the squad. However, if reports are to be believed, Spurs have submitted a bid for Milenkovic ahead of the winter transfer window.
Mourinho was interested in signing Milan Skriniar from Inter Milan in the summer, but Tottenham Hotspur failed to match the player's £40m price tag. As things stand, Spurs are likely to go head-to-head with Manchester United for Milenkovic next month.Published 25 Dec 2020, 21:53 IST