Manchester United have received a boost in their pursuit of Fiorentina star Nikola Milenkovic with the latest transfer news emerging from Anfield.
Liverpool are reportedly finalising a deal to sign RB Leipzig prospect Ibrahima Konate, 21, this summer as Jurgen Klopp looks to strengthen his defensive options.
Should they complete the transfer, the Reds will have a plethora of options at centre-back next season, with Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip expected to return from long-term injuries in time for the new campaign.
As such, Liverpool seem unlikely to make more defensive signings and this could pave the way for United to pursue Milenkovic, 23, with far less competition than before.
Both Premier League giants are linked with the Fiorentina stalwart but Italian outlet Corriere dello Sport claims the Reds will end their interest if they sign Konate.
The report adds the Red Devils are in pole position to sign Milenkovic, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer searching for a new partner for Harry Maguire as a matter of a priority.
The Serbian has just over one year remaining on his contract and is expected to be available for a fee in the region of £30million.
Is Konate or Milenkovic the more promising talent? Have your say in the comments.
Tottenham, Inter Milan and AC Milan are also credited with interest in the former Partizan Belgrade man, who has earned 28 caps for Serbia.
But Fiorentina sporting director Daniele Prade has not given up hope of Milenkovic signing a new deal in Tuscany.
“We are talking about it, these are situations that we will face but right now we have to think only of the pitch,” said Prade in January.
“The team is responding, some results have been excellent, others less so. We just think about playing.”
Milenkovic has scored three goals in 26 Serie A games as Fiorentina have endured an underwhelming season which leaves them 14th in the table.
The defender started Serbia’s 3-2 victory over Republic of Ireland last week and was sent off for a poor challenge in their 2-2 draw with Portugal on Saturday.
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