Fiorentina president names Arsenal with thinly-veiled dig at Vlahovic chasers

Date published: Thursday 2nd December 2021 3:06 - Steve Pearson

Dusan Vlahovic, Fiorentina striker in Serie A action against Lazio

Arsenal and one other club were specifically named by Fiorentina’s president when addressing the massive interest in Tottenham target Dusan Vlahovic.

The Serbian, 21, is quickly becoming one of Europe’s hottest properties. Vlahovic bagged 21 goals in Serie A last season. Proving he wasn’t a one-season wonder, the lethal marksman has taken his game to new heights this year.

Vlahovic has notched 14 goals in 16 matches across all competitions this season. That output at such a young age has predictably seen him emerge on the radar of many of Europe’s elite.

Indeed, Tottenham were stated by the Sun to be lining up the £70m-rated forward as part of a five-pronged overhaul.

Juventus are leading the chase from the Serie A’s interested parties, though Arsenal cannot be discounted from the race.

Vlahovic’s contract in Florence expires in the summer of 2023. With a new deal unlikely to be signed, Fiorentina are expected to cash in next summer.

Vlahovic would be an intriguing fit at Tottenham and provide Antonio Conte with two elite centre-forward options. The Italian won Serie A with Inter Milan last season with the Romelu Lukaku-Lautaro Martinez partnership earning rave reviews.

At the Emirates, Mikel Arteta could also make great use of Vlahovic. Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah are poised to leave as free agents next summer. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, meanwhile, is not the potent force he once was.

Now, Fiorentina president Rocco Commisso has addressed the clubs hunting Vlahovic’s signature. In doing so, he specifically namechecked Arsenal and Juventus, though insisted teams should go about their dealings in the proper manner.

“Open talks with us, not his agents”

“I don’t know if Juventus are able to sign Vlahovic in January,” said Commiso (via Fabrizio Romano).

“But I want to say to Juventus or Arsenal that we [Fiorentina] are the ‘owners’ of Vlahovic.

“They should open talks with us – not with his agents.”

Benitez on the brink – Lampard and Potter in the mix to replace the Spaniard at Everton

Vlahovic first part of five-pronged Tottenham splurge

Meanwhile, Tottenham will aim to take a page out of Arsenal’s book after their transfer strategy that would see Vlahovic join as one of five potential new signings was revealed, per a report.

Arsenal splashed out around £140m in the summer on six new signings. Each of the six were aged under 24 at the time, and the bulk of those new faces are already making an immediate impact under Mikel Arteta.

Now, according to the Sun, Tottenham are aiming to provide Antonio Conte with a similar set of results in the market.

They claim Spurs have ‘identified’ five rising stars across Europe that are ‘all being eyed for potential moves’. Following Arsenal’s lead, each of the quintet are aged 25 or under, though all would be more than capable of slotting straight into Conte’s first eleven.

Vlahovic was the headline-grabbing name on the list, though the other four would all bring impressive credentials.

Midfield trio Franck Kessie, Nicolo Barella and Denis Zakaria were joined by Fenerbahce centre-half Kim Min-jae in rounding out the five-man shortlist.

PREDICTIONS: No agreement on Man Utd v Arsenal; Tottenham, Brentford play out thriller

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