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Juventus switch focus to Milenkovic ahead of potential Man Utd transfer tussle

12:36 EAT 29/11/2018
Nikola Milenkovic Florenz 2018
The Bianconeri remain keen on Ajax defender Matthijs de Ligt, but fear he may be too costly and have turned their attention closer to home as a result

Juventus have joined Manchester United in adding Fiorentina defender Nikola Milenkovic to their wish list, Goal understands.

La Viola have struggled to move through the gears in Serie A this season, but their 21-year-old Serbia international has continued to catch the eye.

His efforts have been noted outside of Florence, with interest building ahead of the January transfer window.

In England, Jose Mourinho remains in the market for centre-half additions at Old Trafford.

Contact has been made from the Red Devils, but no formal offer is on the table.

That is keeping the door open for others, with Juve’s sporting director, Fabio Paratici, among those believed to be closely monitoring Milenkovic.

He has been tracking the youngster since his time at Partizan Belgrade, with it suggested at one stage that the Bianconeri could do a deal before sanctioning a loan switch to aid his development.

Fiorentina have provided that platform in Italy, having completed a swoop in 2017, and have their prized asset tied to a contract through to 2022.

That agreement is allowing Milenkovic to ignore the speculation surrounding his future, with his focus locked on the present.

He is not pushing for a move and his current club have no intention of sanctioning a sale.

Juve, though, may test the transfer water as defensive reinforcements become more of a priority.

Goal has revealed that there are no plans to part with Medhi Benatia and Daniele Rugani over the winter, but both men are sparking exit talk.

Ajax star Matthijs de Ligt had been the Bianconeri’s favoured option to bolster the ranks, but the Dutchman may prove too costly.

Barcelona and Manchester City are also understood to be among his many suitors, and that is likely to drive up any asking price.

As a result, Milenkovic has registered on the radar in Turin.

Juve will get another look at a player they hold in high regard on Saturday, with Massimiliano Allegri’s reigning champions due at Stadio Artemio Franchi for their latest Serie A outing.