Manchester United are looking to put pressure on Italian outfit Fiorentina to accept their offer for star defender Nikola Milenković by offering midfielder Andreas Pereira as part of any deal for the Serbian centre back.
Milenković has been catching the eye for La Viola ever since moving to Italy in 2017, but it was the 21-year-old’s performances at the World Cup which saw his stock amongst Europe’s elite clubs rise the most.
Manchester United and their rivals City have both been heavily linked with a €50m move for Milenković in 2019, while Atlético Madrid are believed to have retained their interest following a failed bid for the defender last year.
United’s top brass are looking at ways they can take pole position in the race for Milenković, which La Nazione (via The Mirror) claim involves offering up their Brazilian midfielder Pereira as bait to the two-time Serie A champions.
That is because Fiorentina’s own midfield maestro Jordan Veretout – formerly of Aston Villa – is being tipped to join Carlo Ancelotti at Napoli. The Frenchman has just two years left on his contract at the Stadio Artemio Franchi.
Although Pereira has impressed on loan spells away from Manchester United, the 23-year-old hasn’t been able to nail down a first-team spot at Old Trafford since returning from his two separate spells in La Liga.
The Brazil international, who was born in Belgium and even represented them up until Under-17 level, has also been attracting interest from Premier League rivals Arsenal ahead of the summer transfer window.
Pereira will become a free agent unless a clause in his contract is activated, although he is unable to talk to the Gunners over a possible move due to regulations restricting Bosman transfers.