Arsenal are reportedly aiming to sign a €50million striker as the transfer of Dusan Vlahovic to the Emirates comes under threat.
Mikel Arteta, along with technical director Edu, wants to make Vlahovic the successor to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette up front. The Fiorentina hitman would be an ideal capture, having hit 20 goals in just 24 games so far this term.
Arsenal were making some headway over a deal earlier this month, although Vlahovic’s move is now set to collapse due to two reasons.
Firstly, the Serbian has tested positive for Covid-19 in recent days. Italy’s current Covid guidelines mean anyone who has tested positive can leave isolation after seven-to-10 days, if they return a negative test.
This puts Vlahovic in a race against time to secure a transfer away from Serie A before the end of the winter window.
Italian outlet La Repubblica have gone on to hand Arsenal another major blow. They claim Vlahovic is holding out for a switch to Manchester City this summer.
The Gunners clearly know their chances of signing Vlahovic are dwindling, forcing them to look at alternatives.
Arsenal hunt Dusan Vlahovic alternative
According to The Athletic reporter David Ornstein, they are setting their sights on Real Sociedad man Alexander Isak.
The Swede has long been on Arsenal’s radar, although he fell down their shortlist due to the Vlahovic chase.
However, Isak is now back in the frame as he represents a more realistic, as well as cheaper, option.
Al Hilal ready to pay Aubameyang wages
Al Hilal target Aubameyang as they are willing to pay the same as Arsenal wages
While Vlahovic would cost upwards of £58m, 22-year-old Isak is available for €50m (£41.9m) according to Fichajes (via Caught Offside).
Isak enjoyed a great campaign last season, hitting 17 goals in 34 La Liga matches. He has not been able to replicate that form this time around but would certainly be a threat to Premier League defenders if he did join Arsenal.
Pepe insight on Aubameyang move
Meanwhile, Arsenal wide man Nicolas Pepe has responded after a fan asked him about Aubameyang’s future.
The Gabon forward is a target for Saudi Arabian outfit Al Nassr, who are hoping to take him on loan with the option to buy this summer.
Several European clubs are also in for his signature, most notably AC Milan, Juventus and PSG.
Aubameyang’s contract expires in 2023, giving Arsenal just a couple more chances to get his full transfer value.
When asked about his team-mate’s potential exit, Pepe said on social media: “I don’t know. I think he’ll stay, but I don’t know.”