Tottenham look set to suffer a blow to their hopes of boosting their firepower in 2022, with a top striker target poised to sign a new deal at his current club.
Fiorentina frontman Dusan Vlahovic has emerged as of the top young forwards in European football. He was targeted by Spurs throughout this summer’s transfer window while doubts surrounded the future of talisman Harry Kane, although there were suggestions that Nuno Espirito Santo actually wanted the 21-year-old to partner Kane in a two-man forward line.
The Serb notched 21 goals in 37 Serie A games last season and has started this term in similar fashion. Vlahovic has scored three goals in four outings, including a brace against Atalanta.
The young forward is in high demand due to the fact that he’s now entered the final two years on his contract. But that is something that La Viola are looking to rectify quickly, with a renewal on the cards.
Tottenham have retained their interest and were said to be looking at making another offer in January.
However, this latest development appears to have thrown a spanner in the works for a Spurs side that have scored just three goals in their opening five league outings.
Vlahovic is rated in the £50million bracket. But that figure will almost certainly rise if an escape clause is inserted in the player’s new deal.
Tottenham given north London derby warning
Meanwhile, Paul Merson compared Chelsea’s cruising to a win over Tottenham to a victory over an Under-10s team, following their 3-o triumph.
Spurs started Sunday’s clash at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium well, but Chelsea dug in. Furthermore, visiting manager Thomas Tuchel’s introduction of N’Golo Kante in the second half changed the game.
Chelsea went on to score all three goals after the break, with centre-backs Thiago Silva and Antonio Rudiger netting.
Rudiger’s strike came deep into stoppage time, but the Blues looked settled after Kante’s deflected strike to make it 2-0.
Spurs have now not won in three games in all competitions. What’s more, they have not scored any goals and conceded six in their two Premier League games in that run.
Ahead of Sunday’s north London derby between Arsenal and Tottenham, Merson said that the Gunners – who have now won 1-0 twice on the run after three successive defeats – will not lose the match.
“I think it’s a big game next weekend against Tottenham. It’s always a big game anyway, but I think it becomes even bigger,” the pundit told talkSPORT (September 20, 9.55am).
“I did a thing with Jamie [O’Hara] a couple of weeks ago about the Arsenal, Tottenham game and he absolutely rinsed me.
“I said even then when Arsenal had lost three games and Tottenham had won all three… there’s no way Arsenal will lose this football match, I don’t see Arsenal losing the game.
“There’s a lot of pressure now on Tottenham. The game yesterday at the end was a bit like watching an Under-10s team playing against a man’s team. It was shocking.”