Man City dangle carrot to agents of Liverpool target to solve conundrum

Date published: Friday 8th October 2021 5:28 - Samuel Bannister

Dusan Vlahovic (Fiorentina) consoles Nicolas Gonzalez (Fiorentina) after his red card during the Italian football Serie A match ACF Fiorentina vs Inter

Manchester City are serious suitors for Fiorentina striker Dusan Vlahovic, according to a report – and have already made his entourage aware of their plans.

After Erling Haaland, Vlahovic is arguably the most in-demand centre-forward in Europe at present. The 21-year-old has risen to prominence with Fiorentina and is ready for the next step in his career. He is likely to make a big leap to one of Europe’s most powerful clubs.

For example, it was recently claimed that Liverpool would try to sign Vlahovic. The Serbian international has also attracted admirers at Tottenham Hotspur, although he is less receptive to that destination.

But with his stance on his future clear – he will not extend his Fiorentina contract, which expires in 2023 – a transfer will be likely next year. The Premier League could well be his next destination.

Manchester City have also been keeping tabs on Vlahovic after depriving themselves of a centre-forward with the release of Sergio Aguero in the summer. Pep Guardiola has often set his side up with a false nine to cover the gap. But finding a top striker could make them even more formidable.

Vlahovic would fit the bill and could strengthen them for years to come. With that in mind, it seems they are making progress towards tempting him to the Etihad Stadium.

According to La Nazione, which is based in Florence, Vlahovic has a “super offer” on the table from Man City.

His agents have been informed of City’s plans to give him a contract worth €6m per season after tax. Currently, he only earns half of that with La Viola.

On top of that, a double-figure sum is on offer to his representatives as commission. In contrast, Fiorentina would only pay them €3m to negotiate a new deal for their current star.

City are consequently able to blow Fiorentina out of the water when it comes to negotiating Vlahovic’s next deal. But in truth, they likely already knew that. Their main task will rather be to convince the player to pick them instead of many other suitors.

For example, Atletico Madrid are also interested in acquiring the former Partizan player. However, La Nazione believe City are ahead of the La Liga champions at this stage of the battle for his services.

It is now up to them to keep plugging away in the background in order to maintain their advantage over the competition until a transfer window opens.

Vlahovic won’t come cheap

Fiorentina will likely be looking for a figure in the region of €75m to sell Vlahovic, even though time is running out for them to get such a large fee.

With his contract ticking down, his price should in theory diminish too. City will thus have to weigh up how much to put on offer in the club-to-club negotiations, but the club-to-player ones seem to be heading in the right direction at least.

Vlahovic scored 21 goals in 37 Serie A appearances for (a struggling) Fiorentina last season. Although it was the first time he hit double figures in a single season, it will likely not be the last.

Indeed, he already has four goals from seven games in the Italian top flight this term. Last season could well have been the catalyst he needed to kick on with his potential.

It is now increasingly likely he will fulfil it away from Stadio Artemio Franchi. Whether Man City will be the ones to benefit from his talent is a question that will only get an answer in 2021.

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