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Spurs could form frightening duo in swoop for Nikola Milenkovic

Tottenham Hotspur retain an interest in signing Nikola Milenkovic ahead of the January transfer window…

What’s the word?

That’s according to Italian outlet Calciomercato, who claim Spurs manager Antonio Conte is an admirer of the Fiorentina colossus, though they will face competition from the likes of West Ham United, Manchester United and Juventus.

Valued at £18m by CIES Football Observatory, the Serbia international is a target for the north Londoners this winter, with his current contract set to expire in 18 months time.

It remains to be seen how much a move for Milenkovic would cost.

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Conte’s dream defender

The Viola colossus has all the attributes to be a perfect signing under Conte and if sporting director Fabio Paratici and chairman Daniel Levy can seal his signature, then they could well form a frightening duo in north London.

Spurs could well be in need of additional centre-backs, too, with Cristian Romero facing a pretty long stint on the sideline. There won’t be many better options out there this winter than Milenkovic, and he could well be an ideal option alongside the Argentine in the future, particularly under Conte.

Milenkovic ranks inside Fiorentina’s top six players and is arguably one of their best on the ball, averaging a passing accuracy of 90.8% – the second-best of any player to start ten or more league games.

This would suggest that he’s more than capable of being a reliable ball-playing option in defence for Conte. Furthermore, he offers a ruthless edge, also averaging 1.9 tackles and 1.3 interceptions per game, via WhoScored.

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Once likened to Premier League great Nemanja Vidic, the Serbian should have no trouble in adapting to the English top-flight, especially if he turns out to be half the player of the ex-United powerhouse.

“Milenkovic is better than Vidic with the ball at his feet, and he is much calmer on the field,” Mozzart journalist Dejan Stankovic told ESPN in 2018. “He is the most talented centre-back Serbia have had since Vidic, and they definitely have one thing in common – [they are] both are fearless.”

Meanwhile, he has also been dubbed a “beast” by former Partizan head coach Ivan Tomic.

On the above evidence, Conte would surely love to seal a move for Milenkovic. He had the best defence in Serie A with Inter Milan last season, on their way to the league title, and the Fiorentina star has all the skills to be a perfect fit in his Italian-based system over in N17.

Conte and Milenkovic would be a frightening prospect heading into the remainder of the campaign.

AND in other news, Imagine him and Skipp: Spurs eye “unbeatable” £27m-rated machine, Conte would love him