Arsenal make major breakthrough in move for Dusan Vlahovic
Fiorentina have begrudgingly accepted they are prepared to sell Dusan Vlahovic after Arsenal lodged a €70million (£58.5m) bid to sign the striker, according to reports in Italy.
Arsenal are planning for the future without Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette – who are both out of contract at the end of the season – and Vlasovic has emerged as the Gunners’ primary attacking target this January.
The 21-year-old has entered into the final 18 months of his contract at Fiorentina and has attracted the attentions of a host of Europe’s top clubs with his extraordinary goalscoring exploits in Serie A.
Until now, Fiorentina had been hopeful that Vlasovic would put an end to the speculation by putting pen to paper on a new deal, with club president Rocco Commisso warning the forward he would not be ‘screwed by players’ earlier this week.
However, Italian publication La Repubblica claim Commisso is now ‘ready to let the player go’, with the Serbian’s ‘future moving further and further away from Florence’.
It’s understood Vlahovic’s representatives have been demanding an €8m (£6.6m) fee to get a renewal over the line at Fiorentina plus 10 per cent of any potential transfer fee.
Everton’s Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Real Sociedad’s Alexander Isak have also been linked with Arsenal this winter, but it appears the club are honing in on Vlahovic and a deal looks possible.
Speaking on Optus Sport, Ian Wright encouraged Arsenal to get a deal done for Vlahovic and suggested things could ‘start to happen’ should the club have a productive January transfer window.
‘Arsenal have done fantastic business up until this point,’ Wright said on The Kelly and Wrighty Show.
‘I believe they do need to get another striker, even if everything can be sorted with Aubameyang.
‘I’m hearing Vlahovic from Fiorentina. We need that player who can be between Lacazette and Aubameyang.
‘I don’t know what’s happening with Laca, I’d love him to stay, I don’t know what’s happening with him, and we don’t know what’s happening with Aubameyang.
‘But if we can get that striker, that hard-running striker who is good at the link-up play and is a good finisher – which Vlahovic is – then you’re starting to think it’s starting to happen now for Arsenal.’
Ex-Arsenal full-back Nigel Winterburn, meanwhile, believes Dusan Vlahovic could be an ‘interesting signing’ given the young striker ‘can offer something different’ to Arteta’s current options.
‘We’re being linked with a lot of young strikers but I do like Vlahovic from Fiorentina because he looks like he can offer something different,’ Winterburn told Paddy Power.
‘He scores all sorts of goals. He takes penalties, he scores from close range, and from the edge of the box. He’s left-footed and looks powerful and strong.
‘There seems to be a big push from Arsenal and he’s the one name that keeps coming up.
‘It will be interesting to see how that develops but like everything, if he does come to Arsenal, I’m only interested in what he does when he’s at our football club. He would be an interesting signing.’