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Manchester United transfer news: Red Devils identify Fiorentina’s Nikola Milenkovic as an alternative to in-demand Dayot Upamecano

Nikola Milenkovic
(Image credit: PA)

Fiorentina's Nikola Milenkovic is rumoured to be on Manchester United’s radar as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer aims to strengthen a defence that has conceded more than twice as many goals as their local rivals.

Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City lead the way in the Premier League, aided by an impressive record of six consecutive clean sheets.

United, on the other hand, have conceded some poor goals, most recently in the shock 2-1 defeat at home to bottom club Sheffield United.

Captain Harry Maguire has been ever-present at the heart of the defence, but has found himself partnered by Victor Lindelof, Eric Bailly and Axel Tuanzebe at various points this season.

United are looking for a calm and commanding presence alongside Maguire and have long been linked with a move for RB Leipzig’s Dayot Upamecano.

The 22-year-old, who made his international debut for France last year, is one of the most highly regarded centre-backs in European football.

He has a contract until 2023 and is being watched by Liverpool, Chelsea and Bayern Munich amongst others.

Recognising the stiff competition they face for Upamecano, United have identified Fiorentina’s Milenkovic as a potential alternative, according to the Daily Express.

The Serbian international has been a regular in Serie A, making more than 100 appearances, since joining from Partizan Belgrade in the summer of 2017.

At 23 he is already a reliable performer for club and country, with plenty of scope to develop further in the coming years.

His versatility, having also played at right-back on several occasions, would also benefit United by helping to keep Aaron Wan-Bissaka on his toes.

Milenkovic, who is also believed to be of interest to Juventus and Inter Milan, is expected to be sold this summer as his contract enters its final year.