Italiano hopes Milenkovic stays after Fiorentina win

Fiorentina beat Triestina 4-0 in a pre-season friendly, but Luka Jovic missed a penalty and coach Vincenzo Italiano comments on the Nikola Milenkovic transfer speculation. ‘I hope he remains with us.’

The Viola ran riot in the first half of this test match with Cristiano Biraghi’s angled drive, then Sofyan Amrabat earning and converting a penalty.

Jovic should’ve made it 3-0 after 12 minutes, but his spot-kick was parried by the goalkeeper.

He did better soon after, forcing a save that allowed Riccardo Saponara to tap in the rebound.

Giacomo Bonaventura sealed the 4-0 result before half-time.

“I think Jovic will have these ups and downs for quite a while yet, as he needs to improve physically before he can make the most of his undoubted qualities,” said coach Italiano.

“He needs to be in good shape, an athlete at 100 per cent. We need the wingers to be more attack-minded and try to score more goals.”

Inevitably, Italiano was asked about the reports that Inter and Juventus are preparing a duel on the transfer market for Viola defender Milenkovic.

“I hope that Nikola will remain a Fiorentina player. It’s not easy to find someone so clearly enmeshed in our idea of football, he’s a great professional and if we were to bring someone else in, it would take time to get him up to speed.

“This is a top level player who will be at the World Cup, so I hope he will remain with us.”

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