Manchester United in negotiations to sign Fiorentina star Nikola Milenkovic

Nikola Milenkovic is viewed as a cheap centre-back option by Manchester United (Picture: Getty)

Manchester United have reportedly opened talks with Fiorentina’s Nikola Milenkovic and are hopeful of agreeing a deal to sign the centre-back for a fee of just £8.5million in the summer transfer window.

Victor Lindelof has failed to convince United’s hierarchy that he’s the long-term solution to partner Harry Maguire at the heart of the defence and the club are intent on strengthening the position in order to boost their title hopes next season.

Sevilla’s Jules Kounde, Villarreal’s Pau Torres and Lille’s Sven Botman have all been linked in recent weeks and Milenkovic represents a far cheaper alternative to those mentioned, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer thought to be an admirer.

According to Duncan Castles, speaking on his podcast The Transfer Window, discussions between United and Milenkovic are well underway and the Premier League giants believe they can land the Serbian for €10m (£8.5m).

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And while Fiorentina are reluctant to sell Milenkovic for a fee below €15m (£13m), an overall package would still be relatively inexpensive. After all, the 23-year-old is unlikely to be demanding huge wages given he’s currently on a salary of just €1m-a-year in Florence.

Eric Bailly has been stalling over a new deal at Old Trafford and Castles claims United could put the Ivorian up for sale this summer to avoid the risk of losing him on a free transfer in just over a year’s time.

Just last month, Milenkovic revealed that legendary ex-United defender Nemanja Vidic was his hero while growing up.

‘When I was little, Serbian defender Vidic, who played for Manchester United, was my idol,’ he said.

‘He was a very strong defender: I still watch the videos of his highlights today.’

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