Arsenal are set to miss out on Dusan Vlahovic this month, though the saga may inadvertently aid the Gunners after it prompted a move for a West Ham target, per a reliable source.
Arsenal chased the signature of Fiorentina’s hitman all month. But despite reportedly lodging a giant £58m bid, the Serbian appears destined to sign for Juventus. That will leave the Gunners empty-handed, though there is still time to secure a late deal to provide Mikel Arteta with a burst of firepower up front.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Alexander Isak have both been touted. Neither will come cheap, but Arsenal will try their luck nevertheless.
Arsenal’s sole aim for the season is now to nab fourth spot ahead of the likes of Man Utd, Tottenham and West Ham.
The Hammers too are seeking reinforcements in the final third this month, and had targeted Basel’s Arthur Cabral.
Goal Brasil noted their interest earlier this month, and stated a move could cost €15million (£12.5m). That figure could represent a bargain for a striker who has plundered 27 goals and eight assists in just 31 matches across all competitions this season.
Vlahovic move prompts Cabral sale
The Brazilian, 23, was earmarked as a suitable option to provide stiff competition for Michail Antonio. West Ham have never truly replaced Sebastien Haller, leaving Antonio as their only recognised centre-forward.
However, according to transfer guru Fabrizio Romano, Juventus’ impending move for Vlahovic will prompt Fiorentina to snap up an immediate replacement, and West Ham target Arthur Cabral is poised to fill that void.
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Romano tweeted Cabral will ‘undergo his medical in Florence’ once Vlahovic’s move to Turin is completed.
Fiorentina have agreed personal terms with Cabral, and Basel will receive ‘€14.5m plus bonuses’ in the deal.
While Arsenal fans will be dismayed to miss out on Vlahovic, the saga does appear to have a silver lining. West Ham are a direct rival for fourth spot this season, and Vlahovic’s move to Juve looks set to deprive David Moyes of a transfer target in a key area.
Edu transfer plan blocked from within
Meanwhile, Arsenal’s board reportedly turned down the chance to sign midfielder Arthur Melo on an 18-month loan deal, despite transfer chief Edu agreeing on the structure of the move with Juventus counterpart Federico Cherubini.
A report in the Daily Express states that the Gunners’ hierarchy are believed to have preferred a short-term solution. That leaves Mikel Arteta’s hunt for a new midfielder hanging in the balance ahead of Monday night’s transfer deadline.
A loan deal for Juventus’ Arthur was touted in order to help bolster Arteta’s options. But a move is now appearing increasingly unlikely.
With the switch in serious doubt, The Athletic suggest that Arsenal actually came much closer to completing the coup than first suspected.
Edu and Cherubini reportedly signed off on an 18-month loan deal which included a £34million option to buy. The former Gunners midfielder then presented that idea to the club’s hierarchy, only for it to be slapped down. The reason given being that the risk was deemed too high.
The Arsenal board actually favoured a short-term arrangement in case Arthur failed to have the desired impact. The decision has come as a big blow to Arteta. who believes the player would have been a hit.