Arsenal ‘talking’ to lethal Aubameyang successor with January plan confirmed

Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang clapping

Arsenal are in contact with a fearsome forward who could replace Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang after transfer guru Fabrizio Romano outlined their January plans.

Mikel Arteta has taken a hard-line approach to Aubameyang’s disciplinary issues. The striker was stripped of the captaincy and was overlooked for each of Arsenal’s three matches since his latest breach. The Telegraph then reported Aubameyang might not play for the Gunners again until February – assuming he is not sold in January first.

Finding a buyer for the 32-year-old won’t be straightforward. If his startling dip in form and disciplinary issues weren’t enough, his sky-high salary will turn many suitors away.

Nonetheless, where there is a will, there is a way. And Italian outlet Tuttosport recently revealed Juventus had registered their interest in Aubameyang. The Turin club have failed to adequately plug the gap Cristiano Ronaldo left behind.

But per transfer guru Fabrizio Romano, Arsenal’s greater focus this winter is on their midfield. However, he did stress turnover up front remains a distinct possibility.

Speaking on the Here We Go podcast (via Football London), Romano said last week: “The focus for Arsenal in January is the opportunities in the midfield.

“We’ve said about the striker situation. They already started to look for a new striker for 2022.

Arsenal looking at Aubameyang replacements

The Gunners are looking to shift their former captain after everything that's happened recently.

“There is a possibility [of a signing] in January if they find the right opportunity but the January transfer market is difficult. For summer 2022, Arsenal’s plan is to find a new striker.

“Let’s see what happens with Aubameyang. They’ll look for opportunities in January but I don’t expect anything big from Arsenal.

“They signed many players last summer so the focus is the 2022 summer transfer window to go for a new midfielder and a new striker. This is the plan of Arsenal.”

Arteta facing desperate firepower shortage

Even if Aubameyang doesn’t leave, Arteta will soon require a new burst of firepower up front. Both Eddie Nketiah and Alexandre Lacazette are out of contract next summer. At present, neither appear likely to pen fresh terms.

One blockbuster signing that would send ripples through the Premier League would be that of Dusan Vlahovic.

Dusan Vlahovic Fiorentina

Arsenal are known admirers of the Serbian hitman and were even namechecked by Fiorentina president Rocco Commisso in early December.

Now, Sky Sport Italia have shed new light on Arsenal’s budding pursuit, and confirmed contact has been made.

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Arsenal ‘talking’ with Fiorentina

Via Football London, Fiorentina were described as ‘talking with Arsenal on Dusan Vlahovic’. The 21-year-old has blazed a trail through Serie A this season, notching 16 goals in 18 matches.

Fiorentina have tried in vain to tie Vlahovic down to a new contract. With that avenue seemingly closed, a transfer seems inevitable.

However, Vlahovic is described as ‘not interested’ in joining Arsenal ‘at the moment’.

Juventus are known admirers, though even a deal for the Old Lady is described as ‘very complicated’.

Clouding the issue is Vlahovic’s ‘high price’ – previously reported to be around £68m. Furthermore, Vlahovic’s agent is reportedly seeking an eye-watering commission to make a deal happen.

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