Fiorentina have been unable to publicly rule out a January transfer for Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City striker target Dusan Vlahovic.
Vlahovic is one of the most in-demand strikers in the world. He has outgrown his current club, for whom he scored 21 goals last season and already has seven this term. With a contract expiring in 2023, he looks likely to be on the move in the New Year.
Fiorentina, who have had a mixed start to the Serie A season with five wins and five losses, know that losing Vlahovic would be detrimental. However, they are also coming to terms with the fact that it is unrealistic for them to imagine keeping him long-term.
Bigger things beckon for Vlahovic, whether that be at a stronger Serie A side or elsewhere in Europe. The Premier League could be a likely destination.
Vlahovic was identified by Man City in the summer as an alternative target to Harry Kane. Coincidentally, Tottenham have also been considering him – despite Fabio Paratici’s denials – in case of their frontman’s departure.
Liverpool are also said to be potential suitors for the Serbia international. In Italy, though, Juventus are thought to be the favourites.
It has long been felt that Vlahovic will not sign a new contract in Florence. Therefore, his current employers must work out what is more valuable to them – the transfer fee they could receive sooner or the goals he can contribute while still at the club.
It seems they are facing the reality of the situation as interest in their star man mounts. Speaking before their game against Lazio on Wednesday, director Joe Barone was unable to deny Vlahovic could be on the move in January.
Barone told DAZN (via Football Italia): “It’s tough to go into details. We have a game tonight and an entire season ahead.
“There are many games remaining before January. We are very attentive on the market and for all positions, not just the attack.
“Vlahovic is part of the team. He took a decision and we are preparing for the future, not just in terms of singles, but also in terms of the group.”
Time to cash in on Vlahovic?
The longer Fiorentina keep Vlahovic without him signing a new deal, the more his market value will go down. Therefore, they may be considering taking action in January.
It remains to be seen whether any of his Premier League suitors could make a move when the winter market opens.
City, of course, failed to sign a replacement for Sergio Aguero in the summer. Pep Guardiola has since been lining them up with a formation that utilises a false nine.
Finding a proper centre-forward of Vlahovic’s calibre could take them to the next level.
For Spurs, all will depend on Kane’s future. He said in the summer he was committing to the club, but did not mention for how long. If he leaves, they will need a high-quality replacement.
Liverpool, for their part, like to operate with a low net spend. Therefore, they may have to push the boat out compared to their usual strategy if they want to sign Vlahovic.