Soccer

Liverpool ‘pause interest’ on Nikola Milenkovic – and Diogo Jota is to blame

Liverpool are among a number of Premier League sides who have been linked with a summer swoop for Fiorentina defender Nikola Milenkovic.

However, the Reds have reportedly paused their interest in the defender after he put in a poor display in Serbia's recent World Cup qualifying clash with Portugal.

The game ended 2-2 and Milenkovic was at fault for both of Portugal's goals, which were scored by Liverpool forward Diogo Jota, before he was shown a red card for a foul on Danilo Pereira.

According to a report from Corriere Fiorentino, Milenkovic's display means Liverpool have 'taken a pause' to evaluate whether they should make a move for the 23-year-old.

The report states that the defender wants to test himself in the Premier League, with Fiorentina hoping to pocket between €30m and €35m.

Liverpool do have a number of alternative centre-backs on their radar, with the Reds possessing an £18m option to buy for current loanee Ozan Kabak.

RB Leipzig's Ibrahim Konate has also been heavily linked with a move to Anfield, with a report from the Athletic claiming Liverpool are close to finalising a deal for the 21-year-old.

When asked about the rumours, Konate said: "I woke up, I saw my phone ringing all over the place. I just wanted to tell them, 'Hey, I played yesterday, I'm tired, leave me alone.'

"Frankly, I don't even watch this [transfer reports]. We can't focus on that, there are the Euros and then my return to the club. You have to focus on that and not on the external things."

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  • Meanwhile, Leipzig's sporting director Markus Krosche has said: "He has a long contract with us, he knows what we mean to him and what he means to us.

    "This year he is developing well and he is an extremely important player with a lot of potential. We want to help him develop further. I don't see a reason for him to leave us."

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