Manchester United and Manchester City are prepared to go head-to-head in their pursuit of Fiorentina defender Nikola Milenkovic, with both clubs readying a bid of around £45m.
The 21-year-old has attracted a huge amount of interest from many of Europe's elite sides since moving to the Serie A in 2017. United have been touted as potential suitors for Milenkovic for several months, with the club thought to be desperate for defensive reinforcements.
News of the potential transfer battle comes from journalist Alfredo Pedulla, writing for Corriere dello Sport - Stadio (via Labaro Viola). According to the report, both Manchester sides are hoping to secure a deal to sign Milenkovic at the end of the season.
Pedulla wrote: "There is a '97 that has already convinced everyone called Nikola Milenkovic, Fiorentina's defender. Serbian substance, quantity, quality and what you want and ask from a defender.
"Potential champion, it started from [bids of €40m] (Atletico Madrid climbed to a similar figure last summer, rejected).
"Now we have reached [€50m] and the two of Manchester have long been the engines turned on for the summer ".
Fiorentina parted with less than £5m to sign the former Partizan Belgrade defender, and Milenkovic has quickly gone on to establish himself as one of the league's most promising defenders. He has made 35 appearances for La Viola and has even managed to net two goals this season.
The towering Serb was one of his country's standout performers at last summer's World Cup tournament. Having played just two international matches beforehand, Milenkovic was ever-present in Serbia's defence but could not save his country from defeats to Brazil and Switzerland.
However, many fans recognised Milenkovic's potential, prompting interest from the likes of United, City and Juventus. It is thought that Fiorentina would not allow Milenkovic to leave the club during the winter transfer window, but could be tempted to part ways with the 21-year-old in the summer.