A new centre-back remains top of Jose Mourinho’s priority list heading into the January transfer window.
Eager to build on last season’s second place finish and catch rivals Manchester City, the former Chelsea manager identified a new defender as a must during the summer transfer window. United tried and failed to sign the likes of Toby Alderweireld, Harry Maguire, Jerome Boateng and Diego Godin. Mourinho was ultimately left empty handed and blasted the United senior management.
The Red Devils’ poor start to the season has only added weight to the Portuguese’s argument, and it’s likely that United will be back in the market when the window reopens. United could rekindle their interest in Alderweireld, but Mourinho might have another name in mind. The ex-Real Madrid boss was spotted in the stands during Serbia’s game against Montenegro believed to be casting an eye over Fiorentina’s Nikola Milenkovic.
Valued at £22.5m by Transfermarkt, the 21-year-old would be a fantastic addition to his squad. After gaining a reputation as one of the hottest prospects in Serbia, Milenkovic joined Fiorentina last summer and made 16 appearances in the Serie A. The youngster has played in all eight fixtures this season, but the majority have come at right-back. Many people, including Serbia national coach Mladen Krstajic, see his long-term future in the centre of defence.
Milenkovic reads the game expertly, averaging 2.3 interceptions while playing in the middle for Serbia in the UEFA Nations League. The youngster is also a massive threat in the air, winning 2.4 aerial duels per game this season, meaning he should have no issues adapting to the physicality of the Premier League. The defender has also retained a decent 82% passing accuracy when playing at centre-back (WhoScored).
Now a regular for both club and country, United could finally find the next Nemanja Vidic if they brought him to Old Trafford.
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