Italian outlet Ferenzi Viola has claimed that Chelsea joined Tottenham in the race to sign Fiorentina defender Nikola Milinkovic this summer – with his contract at La Viola expiring at the end of the season 22-23.

Milinkovic, 24, joined Fiorentina in 2017 and has since become a mainstay. He has scored 171 games in all competitions, and has proven to be a fairly well-rounded defender scoring 14 goals from central defense in that time.

The Serbian international is 37 times, and is likely to leave Fiorentina this summer. His contract is due to expire at the end of the season and he is unlikely to sign a new deal. Fiorentina will have to sell in order to make some cash.

The £12.5m fee would be enough to convince Fiorentina to sell, which is a potential deal. Inter Milan are keen on that, while Tottenham have been linked in the past. Now, Firenze Viola claims Chelsea, Tottenham and Inter are all still keen.

Chelsea join Tottenham in Milinkovic’s race

Milinkovic is a great defender. A solid centre-back, a giant in Italian football – he is arguably one of the best players in Serie A. So, to be available for just £12.5m, it is surprising that other clubs are not interested in his services.

Chelsea need central defences. Kalidou Koulibaly, who has the same agent as Milinkovic, has entered. But the club really needed a central defender before losing Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger this summer.

So, one or two people should come in that area at Stamford Bridge. Cesar Azpilicueta could also leave, while Malang Sarr is close to a move to Monaco. It’s no surprise, then, that Milinkovic is a target for the Blues.

In the meantime, Spurs have plenty of options in the center of defence, but have just lost to Joe Rodon to Rennes. Japhet Tanganga can also go. Clement Lenglet came but Antonio Conte might want another one. Time will tell.

Photo by Jonas Eckströmer/TT NEWS/AFP via Getty Images

In other news, Tottenham are in talks to sign an “extraordinary” teenager two months after Paratici’s meeting

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