A Fiorentina official has offered both good news and bad news to Arsenal about their pursuit of star striker Dusan Vlahovic.
Vlahovic is one of the most in-demand strikers in Europe after scoring 20 goals from 24 games so far this season. It has followed a productive 2020-21 campaign, in which he smashed the double-figures barrier for the first time in his career with 21 goals from 40 appearances.
The fact he did so for a side that finished in the bottom half of Serie A suggested he was ready for a step up. Even though Fiorentina have improved this season, they still seem to have little chance of keeping him.
Vlahovic is out of contract in 2023, so they may have to sell this year. There will be a number of clubs interested.
Juventus want to give him a bigger platform in Serie A, but Arsenal are reportedly leading the race to take him to the Premier League.
Finding a new striker is a priority for Arsenal. They could lose Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah this year. The former may pay the price for discipline issues, while the latter duo are out of contract at the end of the season.
Therefore, if they can attract Vlahovic, who turns 22 this month, their attack could be stronger for years to come. It would be an exciting signing to say the least – especially if it disrupts some of their interested rivals.
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Now, Fiorentina general manager Joe Barone has confirmed English clubs are in contact to take Vlahovic. However, the transfer hinges on the Serbia international.
Barone told La Nazione: “Some English clubs have made contact, but there is no agreement yet.
“We are open [to selling] but there can’t be a deal unless someone [Vlahovic] agrees.”
Fiorentina waiting to hear from Vlahovic agents
Therefore, it appears Arsenal – and other clubs – may still have work to do to convince Vlahovic to join them.
Reports have hinted that his preference is to pick Juventus should they make a suitable offer. The likes of Arsenal are playing catch-up, then.
Still, Barone is yet to hear from Vlahovic’s representatives about what he wants to do.
He added: “I haven’t heard anything from them. I had asked Vlahovic’s agent to be clear, but I haven’t heard anything, no contacts at all.”
Vlahovic himself recently confirmed he was keeping all options open and wouldn’t even rule out staying with Fiorentina.
But Arsenal will still be keeping tabs on the situation, even if their reasons for optimism are countered by those of doubts.