KEY POINTS

  • Fiorentina star Nikola Milenković is unwilling to extend his contract with the Serie A club
  • Machester United and Tottenham Hotspur emerge as Milenković's big-name suitors
  • Both United and Tottenham currently have issues with their top defenders

Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur are now mentioned as two big-name clubs highly interested in signing Nikola Milenković after the Fiorentina star expressed his unwillingness to extend his tenure with his current team.

Milenković is still tied up with Fiorentina until 2022 but he has already made the Serie A side aware of his desire to leave as soon as possible.

Like other talented youngsters, the 23-year-old “dreams” of playing for a bigger club in Italy or across Europe’s top five leagues, Italian outlet Calciomercato reported.

With Milenković keen to join a more popular squad, Manchester United and Tottenham now emerge as his top suitors.

Fiorentina’s local rivals AC Milan had previously reached a “draft agreement” with the star defender, but the Red Devils and the Spurs, as well as Atletico Madrid, have already “come forward with determination and conviction, guaranteeing Milenković an important contract” in the last few months.

Fiorentina, on the other hand, is unlikely to retain Milenković as the Serbian center-back has been unwilling to sign an extension deal.

Milenković’s eagerness to part ways with the Fiorentina, despite still being under contract, could possibly result in “lowering the request” for his sale. Otherwise, the club would lose him for free in 2022.

After all, Milenković’s agent Fali Ramadani, “will soon have a new conversation” with Fiorentina chairman Rocco Commisso regarding his client’s situation, the report added. 

Job done: Manchester United's comfortable win at Tranmere was a welcome relief for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer Job done: Manchester United's comfortable win at Tranmere was a welcome relief for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer Photo: AFP / Paul ELLIS

Conveniently, United and Tottenham are both dealing with a few issues with their top defenders.

Red Devils captain Harry Maguire has been the subject of intrigues in and outside the pitch since his return. However, the United superstar insisted that the club got his back regardless of what people think of his performance.

"We stay positive and I can say for sure that there's a lot of leaders in this squad,” Maguire said on Tuesday ahead of the Champions League trip to Istanbul Basaksehir. “I'm the captain and I've got a lot of leadership around me–staff and players.”

Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho, meanwhile, has been lacking intensity in the back department because of the absence of Japhet Tanganga due to injury.

But according to Mourinho, the highly-regarded defender could be all set for his return in no time.

"[Japhet] Tanganga is the only player we really say has an injury or is in treatment from quite an important injury," the coach revealed during a recent pre-match press conference. "Very unlucky kid, he had a problem from before lockdown, then hard work to get back, played Chelsea in the cup and then this injury. But he's coming.”