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Sport Ole could have Man Utd's new Vidic on his hands if Murtough & Judge play their cards right

23:20  16 april  2021
23:20  16 april  2021 Source:   givemesport.com

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The Sun reports Manchester United are set to step up their interest in Fiorentina defender Nikola Milenkovic.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan playing a game of football: Fiorentina defender and Manchester United target Nikola Milenkovic © GiveMeSport Fiorentina defender and Manchester United target Nikola Milenkovic

What's the latest transfer news involving Milenkovic?

United are understood to have been tracking Milenkovic for a number of years, and they are now ready to make their move for the Serbian centre-back.

Chelsea and AC MIlan are also believed to be keen on Milenkovic, signalling that The Red Devils may not have things all their own way in trying to get a deal done.

How much is Milenkovic worth and when does his contract expire?

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Fiorentina will seek at least £38m to sell the 23-year-old this summer, a figure which United are unwilling to pay.

However, Milenkovic only has a year left on his contract and has no intention of signing an extension with his current club. This could mean that Fiorentina have to settle for a lower fee in the upcoming transfer window, rather than risking losing their promising defender for free next year.

What are Milenkovic's stats this season?

Fiorentina have endured an underwhelming campaign and find themselves down in 15th place in the Serie A standings. Milenkovic has been one of their better players, though.

As per WhoScored, he has received an average match rating of 6.84 in Italy's top-flight this term, placing him joint-second in Fiorentina's current squad. If he did move to Old Trafford, he would likely be battling for a starting berth with Victor Lindelof, who has earned an average match score of 6.71 in the Premier League.

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Milenkovic has also outdone Lindelof in several other categories. The 6 foot 4 defender has won 93 aerial duels to Lindelof's 54, made more tackles (44 to 18), and completed more interceptions (34 to 22).

What has been said about Milenkovic?

The talented centre-back has been touted for great things for some time now. Back in 2018, Mozzart journalist Dejan Stankovic told ESPN FC that Milenkovic is worthy of being compared to a United legend of the past.

Stankovic said: "Milenkovic is better than Vidic with the ball at his feet, and he is much calmer on the field.

"He is the most talented centre-back Serbia have had since Vidic, and they definitely have one thing in common -- both are fearless."

Is he the next Vidic?

If United's new recruitment team of John Murtough and Matt Judge are looking to make a statement in the upcoming transfer window, they could do a lot worse than sign someone who has been compared to Nemanja Vidic.

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The former United man was a colossal presence at the back during his eight-year spell in Manchester, helping the side to five Premier League titles, and a Champions League triumph in 2008.

In terms of similarities between the pair, there are a few. They can both be described as no-nonsense defenders who are dominant in the air, with Milenkovic winning 3.3 aerial duels per game this season in Serie A - the second best figure for any centre-back in the division - and have represented Serbia at international level.

Then, the stages of their careers can be compared. Vidic joined United at 24, and was ready to make an impact from the outset. Milenkovic turns 24 later this year, and also seems ready to make his mark at the top level.

United have bided their time and seemingly waited for Milenkovic to mature before stepping up their interest. Now he appears to be approaching his peak years and could be poised to take the Premier League by storm - much like Vidic did when he arrived 15 years ago.

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