He said: “Nemanja is a typical English-style defender – and you don’t get many of those coming from foreign countries. He is strong, powerful and is perfect for the Premiership. He is a Serbian John Terry and I believe Nemanja will go on to be much better than him.
“He is playing for the biggest club in England and one of the biggest in Europe. He has the potential to be the best central defender in the world.
“Nemanja struggled a little bit when he first signed for United and people were very critical of him but he has proved them all wrong this season.
“He has been one of the best players in the Premiership and is a hero in Serbia.
“Nemanja is a defender first and foremost but always scored goals for Red Star because he is a big threat at set-pieces.
“We speak a couple of times a month and he is very happy in Manchester.
“I told him he has to stay focused because when you play for a club like United it only takes a couple of bad games and you are out.
“United have still to come to Fratton Park and I’m looking forward to seeing him – but not to playing against him in this form.”