Sunday, September 26, 2021

Tottenham target Milenkovic signs new deal with Fiorentina

SoccerNews in Serie A 19 Aug 2021

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Reported Tottenham target Nikola Milenkovic has committed his future to Fiorentina by signing a contract extension until 2023.

The Serbia international had been widely linked to Spurs, Wolves and West Ham, with just a year left on his previous deal.

However, with Cristian Romero arriving to bolster Nuno Espirito Santo’s squad and the other two Premier League clubs wary of finances, talks broke down and Milenkovic has signed a one-year extension.

Head coach Vincenzo Italiano will be delighted to have secured the defender’s services for another term, given it seems fellow centre-back German Pezzella is on the brink of moving to Real Betis.

Milenkovic joined from Partizan in 2017 and has racked up 133 appearances across all competition for Fiorentina, scoring 11 goals during his four-year spell in Italy.

The 23-year-old has played the most minutes of any Viola player since his debut in December 2017 – his 11,696 way ahead of second-place Pezzella’s 10,381.

In the same time period, no Fiorentina player has made more headed clearances (276), successful tackles (131) or won more duels (651) than Milenkovic, who ranks only 33 behind Pezzella in first place for interceptions with 190.

By comparison, among Serie A defenders, only Federico Fazio (377) and Berat Djimsiti (353) have succeeded in more aerial battles than Milenkovic (349) since his arrival in Italy.

Fiorentina have managed to tie down their star defensive asset and their chairman Rocco Commisso also outlined his desire to keep Spurs, Manchester City and Atletico Madrid target Dusan Vlahovic for at least one more season.

“I didn’t put Vlahovic up for sale, on the contrary, we made him an important renewal proposal,” Commisso told TGR Rai Toscana on Thursday.

“There are teams interested in him but I have not set prices. I want him to stay one more year.

“For the player – we remember – in the last hours the strong interest of Manchester City has also arrived, willing to offer over 70 million euros for him. The pressing of Atletico Madrid, on the other hand, seems weaker after the contacts last week.”

Italiano is expected to name Milenkovic and Vlahovic, who netted twice in a 4-0 Coppa Italia first-round win over Cosenza last Friday, in his starting line-up for their Serie A opener away at Roma on Sunday.

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