Antonio Conte offers dismissive reaction to claims Arsenal are spending big on ‘ridiculous’ player

Assistant head coach Cristian Stellini and Tottenham Hotspur manager Antonio Conte during Europa League clash at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium

Tottenham manager Antonio Conte has refused to take the bait after responding to a question about Arsenal’s reported pursuit of Dusan Vlahovic.

Vlahovic has been making headlines in Italy over the last two seasons with his exceptional goalscoring record. Following a move from Partizan to Fiorentina in July 2018, it took the 21-year-old a couple of years to demonstrate his potential.

He caused Serie A defenders all sorts of problems last campaign, hitting 21 goals in 37 appearances. Vlahovic has continued that form this time around and is already on 20 strikes from just 24 matches.

It’s no surprise that the Serbian is being linked with a move away from Fiorentina. He is by far their most valuable asset and influential player.

Tottenham and Manchester City were initially in the race to sign him. But more recently it has been Arsenal leading the charge.

The Gunners need attacking reinforcements amid uncertainty over the futures of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette. English forward Eddie Nketiah could also leave the Emirates in January.

Reports suggest Arsenal are willing to pay big money to land Vlahovic and make him their new number nine. As such, the Gunners are seemingly willing to pay £58m for Vlahovic, together with a salary worth £300,000. That takes their total package on the player to a whopping £150m.

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And while Vlahovic is seemingly looking elsewhere, the Gunners ambition is certainly something to be admired.

Antonio Conte dodges Vlahovic question

Indeed, the question of Arsenal signing Vlahovic was put to Conte, though, with Fabrizio Romano reporting, the Spurs boss was not taking the bait.

“You know, I don’t like to speak about players of other clubs. Also… if other clubs are interested in signing these players [Vlahović and Arthur], I’m only thinking about resolving Tottenham problems.”

Micah Richards a big fan of Vlahovic

Arsenal still have a long way to go if they are to secure the signing of Vlahovic.

However, a prospective move to the Premier League would be welcomed by pundit Micah Richards, himself a former Fiorentina player.

While appearing on BBC Radio 5 Live, Richards said: “I have watched him a couple of times now. He is lightning. It’s ridiculous.

“He has got 16 [goals] in 18 [games] this season. His left foot is like a wand. I am telling you now, he is everything, he is everything you need.”

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