Exclusive: Newcastle United offered Serbian as Sven Botman alternative - plus Hugo Ekitike latest

Newcastle United’s defender search goes on - and NewcastleWorld has learned this Serbian international has been offered to the Magpies.

Newcastle United have been offered the chance to broker a deal for Serbian international defender Nikola Milenkovic.

NewcastleWorld can exclusively reveal the Magpies have been offered the Fiorentina defender as a January alternative to Sven Botman after the club’s taxing pursuit of the Netherlands and Lille man went cool.

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Although United’s push to land 21-year-old Botman is not over, the reluctance of Lille to sell their man has frustrated United transfer chiefs, who on a number of occasions believe they have satisfied the demands of the French champions.

United are monitoring other targets however, in case the Botman deal does get totally shelved this month.

While AS Monaco defender Benoît Badiashile is one player under consideration, so too is Diego Carlos, of Sevilla.

An injury suffered by the former could curtail any deal though, while Carlos is valued highly by the La Liga outfit and an exit could be as difficult to negotiate for United as has been the case with Botman.

United are currently scouring the market for reinforcements and one player who has been presented to them is Milenkovic.

The towering Serb is a player who has been watched by the likes of Chelsea in recent months and would likely cost a considerable sum, should United pursue the opportunity.

Milenkovic is a teammate of United-linked Dusan Vlahovic, who is thought to be valued in the region of £70million.

Meanwhile, NewcastleWorld understands Newcastle’s interest in Hugo Ekitike is genuine.

United have been tracking the player since the end of 2021, with tentative moves made for the player near the close of the calendar year.

Should United sign Ekitike, it is thought they will still look to add a more experienced forward to their ranks before the end of the winter window.