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Manchester United close to signing £34m-rated defender - Reports 

Manchester United could sign Nikola Milenkovic this summer
Manchester United could sign Nikola Milenkovic this summer
Ume Elvis
ANALYST
Modified 04 Apr 2021
Rumors

Manchester United have reportedly been cleared to sign central defender Nikola Milenkovic from Fiorentina, according to reports. The Serbia international will be out of contract next summer and is valued at around £34m.

According to a report by La Gazetto Dello Sport, it is imperative that the Viola sell Milenkovic this summer, as he has decided against extending his current deal with the Serie A outfit.

The report goes on to state that Manchester United have initiated talks to sign the 23-year-old but it is unknown if they will meet his full valuation.

Milenkovic has reportedly also been on the radar of Liverpool but the Premier League champions have instead turned their attention to Ibrahima Konate of RB Leipzig.

Milenkovic has been with Fiorentina since joining the club from boyhood team Partizan Belgrade in 2017 and since then has made 117 appearances in all competitions for the Florence outfit, scoring three goals.

He has earned plenty of plaudits for his displays at the heart of defense, with interest generated from across Europe.

The 23-year-old has also become established on the international scene for Serbia and has made 28 appearances for his country.

Manchester United and their quest for defensive reinforcement

Manchester Unitedwant to reinforce their defense
Manchester Unitedwant to reinforce their defense
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Manchester United have been in the market for central defenders, despite spending a considerable sum on defensive recruitment in the last few years.

The current world record fee paid for a defender is held by Harry Maguire, who joined the Red Devils from Leicester City in the summer of 2019.

In addition to the England international, others like Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelof have also arrived at Old Trafford. But injury problems and inconsistencies have affected their output.

This has seen Manchester United linked with several defenders in recent times. The likes of Kalidou Koulibaly, Jules Kounde and Sergio Ramos have all been speculated to be on the Red Devils' radar.

The current financial downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic means that clubs are not in the best position to make marquee signings and United are not an exception.

However, £34m might not be far-fetched for the club to realize, considering that they will be signing a defender with a track record of performing on the best of stages.

Milenkovic's young age also factors positively in his favor, as he still has at least a decade of football left in him and could generate a high transfer fee if sold in the future.

Published 04 Apr 2021, 19:43 IST
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