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Manchester United submit £53 million bid for defender
- Updated: October 15, 2018
Manchester United have made a £53 million bid for their 21-year-old centre back Nikola Milenkovic.
Jose Mourinho personally scouted him in Serbia’s victory over Montenegro last Thursday. According to reports in Italy, he immediately asked the board to approach Fiorentina for Milenkovic after returning to Manchester.
Hence, United’s pursuit of a centre-back seems to have taken a new turn now. Ed Woodward was unable to acquire the services of Toby Alderweireld and Harry Maguire in the summer. It has been very evident that Mourinho wants to sign a central defender to bolster his backline.
Former recruits like Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelof have been very unconvincing so far. The Ivorian had a horrendous match against Brighton & Hove Albion.
His individual errors in that match meant that United conceded three goals by the first 45 minutes itself. Lindelof, too, has been shaky as the Swede scored an own goal in the loss to West Ham United.
Chris Smalling has been the only reliable centre-back for United. Mourinho was desperate to land a player who could lead this backline.
The manager’s newfound interest in Milenkovic is surprising as his name wasn’t discussed much earlier. He has represented Fiorentina in eight Serie A matches this season and has already scored two goals. Milenkovic is strong and aerially dominant.
He is an imposing figure to come up against inside the penalty box. Serbia’s boss Mladen Krstajic has likened him to ex-United captain Nemanja Vidic in terms of playing style.
He might be the appropriate no-nonsense defender that United require currently. Millenkovic barely made his debut over a year ago. He has cemented his spot in Fiorentina’s first-team and that explains a lot about his overall caliber and potential.
The Italian club has reportedly rejected the bid as they look to keep Milenkovic until next summer in order to receive even higher bids for their player.