Saturday, May 21

Dusan Vlahovic transfer demand leaves Arsenal sweating and rivals primed to pounce

Arsenal’s hopes of securing the Dusan Vlahovic transfer look likely to be tested by a strong demand from Fiorentina that threatens to see the deal wrestled away from them.

The Gunners have made a new striker a priority after overhauling other parts of their squad in the summer. TEAMtalk understands that frozen-out Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang could soon leave. What’s more, Eddie Nketiah is in the final six months of his deal, so his future is also a major doubt.

But despite Alexandre Lacazette being in the same position as Nketiah, TEAMtalk has learned that Arsenal want to offer the in-form star a new two-year deal.

Nevertheless, Arsenal’s attacking ranks could soon dwindle. As such, reports have claimed that the Gunners want to sign Fiorentina striker Vlahovic in January.

What’s more, they have supposedly ‘not been put off’ after learning a move will cost £150million in total. The Serbia international has scored 16 goals this season. He also finished 2021 as the second-highest scorer in Europe’s top five leagues.

As such, it’s easy to understand why Vlahovic is in such high demand.

And amid a plethora of admirers, it seems it is Arsenal who appear nearest to a deal.

However, The Independent reports that Fiorentina are holding out for a £62m (€75m) fee for their prized asset.

And while the Gunners are looking to pay the fee off in instalments, the paper claims La Viola have other ideas. Indeed, they reportedly want a vast chunk of his sizeable fee paid up front. Arsenal, on the other hand, would rather spread the cost out over the reported five-a-half-year deal they want to hand the Serb.

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Furthermore, Arsenal also hope to lower his asking price by including Fiorentina loanee Lucas Torreira as a makeweight.

And while the Serie A side are ready to make the Uruguayan’s stay permanent, they want Torreira’s deal to remain separate.

Rivals could pounce

As a result, speculates that may well open the transfer door for Manchester City or Tottenham.

The Gunners will continue to work on a deal and hope to reach a satisfactory outcome before the window shuts.

Mikel Arteta remains confident a deal can be sealed, though is refusing to name targets directly.

“Historically this club has always been targeting the best players in the world. And they were always interested to come here,” the Gunners boss told a press conference.

“I can say that that hasn’t changed. Every time I’ve spoken to any player they were so willing to come.

“That’s one of our biggest powers and our capacity to get the attention of people and join our club is a big advantage for us.”

Fiorentina unhappy at Dusan Vlahovic transfer

Wherever he ends up, it seems Vlahovic is likely to leave Fiorentina.

Their director Joe Barone has already criticised the 21-year-old and his representatives for their unrealistic contract demands. The towering Serb’s current deal is due to expire in summer 2023.

Talking to Sky Sport Italia last week, he said: “[His agent] totally disrespected us. We had come to terms on the wages [of a new contract] but he halted the talks because he wanted higher commissions.

“The president met [Vlahovic] in November and his demands had doubled at that point. I had a summit with [his agent] as well, and there were no steps forward. He even suggested staying here until the end of his contract and leaving for free.

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“I think that Vlahovic should not mislead Fiorentina fans. We are here to tell the truth and the situation as become very complex. For sure, the agent wants the player to leave on a free transfer.”

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