Manchester United have reportedly submitted a £53m bid for Nikola Milenkovic, after the Fiorentina defender impressed Jose Mourinho while playing for Serbia.
Mourinho battled against the United board to sign a centre-back during the summer transfer window, with various pursuits for the likes of Jerome Boateng, Diego Godin and Harry Maguire all falling short. United have looked defensively frail so far this season and that is something Mourinho wishes to finally solve in January.
According to Italian news outlet La Nazione, via the Metro, Mourinho was so impressed after watching Milenkovic play for Serbia against Montenegro last Thursday that he immediately got in touch with the United board.
La Nazione claim that, as a result of discussions between Mourinho and the United hierarchy, a £53m bid has been laid on the table for the Serb ahead of the January transfer window.
"Milenkovic is better than Vidic with the ball at his feet, and he is much calmer on the field," journalist Dejan Stankovic told ESPN in August. "He is the most talented centre-back Serbia have had since Vidic, and they definitely have one thing in common - both are fearless." pic.twitter.com/06khWqzCzQ— FergieTime™️ (@SSIIIIUUUU) October 13, 2018
The Red Devils are also said to be in conversation with the 21-year-old's agent, who has suggested that a move to Manchester is certainly on the cards.
However, as might be expected, Fiorentina are unwilling to let go of one of their prize assets without a fight and have subsequently rejected that initial bid. La Viola are looking to hold on to Milenkovic until the summer transfer window, in the hope that his price tag will increase even further.
Milenkovic is one of the brightest young talents currently plying his trade in Serie A and, despite his tender age, has featured in all of Fiorentina's league matches this season, finding the net on two occasions.
He will no doubt be the subject of a lot interest from all over Europe, so United may have to dig deep if they are going to bring him over to Old Trafford as soon as January.