Premier League • England

Arsenal knocked back in Dusan Vlahovic chase as prolific striker ‘decides next club’; terms agreed

Dusan Vlahovic Fiorentina striker before Serie A game v Torino

Arsenal have been knocked back in their pursuit of Dusan Vlahovic after the prolific striker reportedly made a decision on his next club.

Vlahovic has been making headlines in Italy over the last two seasons with his exceptional goalscoring record. Following a move from Partizan to Fiorentina in July 2018, it took the 21-year-old a couple of years to demonstrate his potential.

He caused Serie A defenders all sorts of problems last campaign, hitting 21 goals in 37 appearances. Vlahovic has continued that form this time around and is already on 20 strikes from just 24 matches.

It’s no surprise that the Serbian is being linked with a move away from Fiorentina. He is by far their most valuable asset and influential player.

Tottenham and Manchester City were initially in the race to sign him. But more recently it has been Arsenal leading the charge.

The Gunners need attacking reinforcements amid uncertainty over the futures of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette. English forward Eddie Nketiah could also leave the Emirates in January.

Reports suggest Arsenal are willing to pay big money to land Vlahovic and make him their new number nine. But Mikel Arteta’s side have now been given a major blow.

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According to the Daily Mail, who cite Italian journalist Giacomo Scutiero, Arsenal have little chance of signing the attacker due to his transfer preference.

The only club he is willing to join is Juventus, even if they do not finish in the top four. The Old Lady sit fifth after 22 matches. They are one point behind fourth-placed Atalanta, although the Bergamo side have a game in hand.

The journalist claims Vlahovic has had personal terms with Juventus agreed since October. The Italian giants are more than willing to pay his huge agent fees, too.

Dusan Vlahovic causes stir with wave to fans

The star waved to Fiorentina fans during their recent game against Genoa, sparking suggestions it may be his last game for La Viola.

After missing a Panenka penalty in the first half, Vlahovic was seen engaging with supporters shortly before the start of the second half.

Reacting to the wave, commentator Stewart Robson said: “Very interesting the way that Vlahovic, as he came back on, waved to all the fans.

“A lot of the players, the Fiorentina players, gave him a hug and said something to him as well.

“Could this be his last half of football for Fiorentina?”

However, the Daily Express claim Vlahovic was simply offering an apology for his earlier miss. He went on to atone for his error, hitting a goal in the 51st minute as Fiorentina ran out 6-0 winners.

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