Chelsea join race for elite striker, although Arsenal ‘surely’ still refusing to give up in transfer battle

Antonio Silva challenging Dusan Vlahovic

Arsenal remain interested in Juventus striker Dusan Vlahovic, but the competition has increased from when they previously tried to sign him, according to reports.

Vlahovic was on Arsenal’s radar this time last year, when they were bracing themselves for the departures of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette. Ultimately, Juventus won the race to sign the Serbia international in January instead.

After his arrival from Fiorentina, Vlahovic scored nine goals in 21 games in the second half of last season. He has proven his ability to step up to a club of European stature.

Juventus will therefore be hoping to benefit from his services for many years to come. They have tied him down to a contract until 2026.

However, there have already been rumours about what his next step will be. Last month, rumours about Arsenal going back in for him resurfaced, despite how well Gabriel Jesus has started his time at the Emirates Stadium since joining from Manchester City.

There might yet be something in it. Indeed, Arsenal have been mentioned again as contenders for Vlahovic in a report from Juventus-oriented website Il Bianconero.

According to the Italian outlet, Arsenal are “surely” still keeping tabs on the 22-year-old. However, they are just one of four clubs “at the window” for him.

While it is claimed they still want to sign another striker, so too do their London rivals Chelsea. After the exits of Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner in the summer, the Blues could be ready to invest in another attacker in the new year.

They did bring in Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang towards the end of the summer transfer window. However, he seemed to be a target for Thomas Tuchel more than the club. Obviously, the head coach is no longer with Chelsea, who replaced him with Graham Potter.

Maybe in the future, they will want to sign a different kind of striker. Besides, Vlahovic would represent more of a long-term option than Aubameyang anyway.

European suitors queue up

Two more clubs are competing for Vlahovic’s signature, too. According to Il Bianconero, European heavyweights Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich are also looking at him as a potential option.

PSG have plenty of financial power to sign high-profile players. Meanwhile, Bayern are still searching for a replacement for Robert Lewandowski, who left them for Barcelona earlier this year.

Both could represent strong competition in this particular transfer race. Fears could already be growing for Juventus, who have been rewarded with five goals from seven Serie A appearances from Vlahovic this season so far.

It remains to be seen when he will actually leave them and where he would end up in the process. After they spent more than €75million (around £65million) to sign him in January, he will likely cost a significant sum when the time comes for him to move again.

Chelsea might need Vlahovic more than Arsenal

Although Arsenal have held the longest lasting interest, perhaps Vlahovic would be better off joining Chelsea in the future.

With the way Jesus is playing for the Gunners, centre-forward might not be such a priority any more – certainly with those kind of figures.

Chelsea, meanwhile, might have more of a void to fill. Vlahovic has good characteristics for the Premier League and might be useful to them.

The Blues have already shown a willingness to spend big either side of their change of ownership. Therefore, the fees for Vlahovic might not scare them.

It is worth wondering whether the fear of seeing Vlahovic line up for a rival might prompt Arsenal to refocus their own interest again. But whatever happens, a player of his pedigree should have plenty of options open to him throughout his career.

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