Fiorentina defender Nikola Milenkovic gave a summer move to West Ham United the green light before the Serie A outfit decided against accepting a £27 million bid, as reported by Calciomercato.
If the perennial underachievers of Italian football could turn back the clock, they’d be forgiven for adopting a ‘take the money and run’ mentality.
Because, a matter of weeks after Fiorentina rejected West Ham’s initial £22.5 million offer (rising to £27 million with bonuses), Milenkovic appears destined to leave anyway.
The Serbia international has come to the conclusion that his future lies away from the Stadio Artemio Franchi and will therefore refuse to extend a contract which is due to expire in 2022 (Calciomercato).
La Viola director Daniele Prade admitted recently that Milenkovic would be sold next year if he was reluctant to put pen to paper. Now, Fiorentina have little choice but to cash in either next month or next summer (Sempre Milan).
Whether West Ham are willing to make a new bid – perhaps in the hope that Fiorentina will be forced to accept a reduced fee – remains to be seen.
Angelo Ogbonna and Fabian Balbuena have forged an impressive centre-half partnership under David Moyes this season but the potential departure of Issa Diop opens the door for a new signing.
As reported by The Sun (20 December, page 65), West Ham are keen to get Diop off their books with West Brom keen on a January loan deal.
Standing at 6ft 5ins Milenkovic has scored ten goals from centre-back since the start of 2018/19.