Manchester United make £45 million bid for Nikola Milenkovic – a Harry Maguire alternative – reports

Manchester United has reportedly made a £45 million offer for Fiorentina defender Nikola Milenkovic as the Old Trafford club continues their pursuit of Leicester City defender Harry Maguire. It is said that United are desperate to sign a central defender this summer as they look to bounce back from conceding 54 goals in the Premier League.

Obviously, Maguire is the top target for the position and the club feels that they are in the driving seat, ahead of noisy neighbours, Manchester City, at this moment in time at least. City’s interest seems to have cooled as they are unwilling to spend a world record fee for the defender this summer.

Reports in the Italian media, carried in the English media, suggest that the Old Trafford club has contacted Serie A side, Fiorentina over the availability of 6ft 5in Serbian defender Milenkovic. It is not the first time that United has been linked with the player. The 21-year-old was linked to United during the January transfer window.

Milenkovic has impressed in Italy after making the move from Partizan Belgrade in 2017. Back in January, United had a £36 million bid rejected so they have gone back in this summer, seemingly raising that offer by £9 million. However, this may not be enough to sign the player this summer based on the desperation of strengthening the clubs defence.

Milenkovic has played 110 professional matches during his short career, scoring seven goals. Last season at Fiorentina, he made a total of 38 appearances, scored three goals, was booked eight times and sent off once, playing 3,370 minutes of football. He is contracted to the club until the summer of 2022, so with three years remaining, the club is in no desperate need to sell.

Granted that Leicester City are reportedly holding out for £80 million of more for Maguire, this could prompt Fiorentina to ask for a similar fee for the 21-year-old, which is what could actually happen knowing the desperation to solve a defensive problem. It is good that United are clearly looking at other options but this could just be something to push the Maguire deal further forward. It would be great if United could use it to their advantage though.

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