Bengaluru, October 24: Premier League giants Manchester United have been told that it will cost more than £40million to land Fiorentina centre-back Nikola Milenkovic.
The Italian side are adamant that they will not do business unless their valuation is met but that is £10m higher than what United want to pay.
Jose Mourinho made a personal check on the Serbian defender during last week’s international clash with Montenegro alongwith his compatriot and Lazio star Sergej Milinkovic-Savic who is also a long-term target of the Red Devils.
Mourinho has been impressed by the scouting reports on Milenkovic, 21, and is mulling over a January bid as Mourinho is growing frustrated with his defenders.
Old Trafford chiefs have been told that Serie A giants Juventus are also very keen and Fiorentina know a transfer battle leaves them in the ideal position to push their fee.
The Red Devils hope midfielder Nemanja Matic will be able to persuade his countryman that Manchester is the best option. Yet their money men are wary of paying over the odds, having already given Mourinho £61m to buy defenders Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelof both of whom are struggling for regular starts.
Manchester United spent much of last summer chasing a top centre-back but failed to bring one. The closest they came was with Barcelona’s Yerry Mina but though a fee was agreed and the deal close to completion, a dispute over other payments saw him join Everton.
They were linked with the likes of Toby Alderiweireld, Harry Maguire and Milan Skriniar as well but could not agree a deal for any of the star defenders. Meanwhile, Milan Skriniar has reportedly turned down a new contract with Inter Milan which might make Jose Mourinho happy as he is a long-term admirer of the 23-year-old.