In a recent print edition, Gazzetta dello Sport has reported that Manchester United are in pole position to land Fiorentina defender Nikola Milenkovic. It is understood that the Red Devils have a clear advantage over other clubs in pursuit of the Serbian centre-back, who has decided not to extend his current deal at Florence to force a move away from Italy at the end of this campaign when he would have just a year remaining in his deal (transcripted and translated by Sport Witness).
Milenkovic’s Solid Season In Italian Football
The Belgrad-born talent has been a regular feature in Cesare Prandelli’s first-team. He has been responsible for putting in some dominant displays on the defensive end of the field. Milenkovic has made 28 appearances for the Italian club this term, registering three goals and one assist across multiple competitions.
The 23-year-old has proved his worth as a reliable defender by averaging 1.4 tackles, 1.3 interceptions and 3.0 clearances per game in Serie A this season. He has even been excellent with his ball-distribution after completing 85.8% of his attempted passes in the Italian top tier (stats via whoscored).
Milenkovic has nothing left to prove at the Stadio Artemio Franchi and has every reason to switch clubs in search of some silverware in the coming seasons. At 23, he will only get better with age, but the early signs have been quite encouraging from him so far.
What Will The Serbian Defensive Ace Bring To The Table?
Milenkovic can use his strong 1.95m frame to dominate the aerial battle against the opposition attackers. He is often quick to react to the danger and can win his fair share of 50-50 duels in the air. The Serbian sensation can make a few important interceptions at the back and is always willing to clear his lines when needed. He is also a tidy passer of the ball, which would make him a good fit for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s brand of football at the Theatre of Dreams.
Is Milenkovic The Right Choice For The Red Devils?
Milenkovic has established himself as a great defender in Serie A and could prove to be a decent choice for Man United to consider during the summer transfer period. He will add some bite and steel to Solskjaer’s backline and has what it takes to potentially form a commanding defensive partnership with Harry Maguire at Old Trafford.
However, there are some question marks over whether Mikenkovic can maintain his high standards in the Premier League, where he will have to learn to cope with the high intensity of English football. Even then, Solskjaer would be wise to engineer a cut-price move to bring the Serbian defender to the north-west of England this summer.