Arsenal’s £45m bid for Dusan Vlahovic has been confirmed by Ben Jacobs but Chelsea have now entered the race to sign the Fiorentina striker.
Vlahovic joined the Serie A outfit from Partizan in 2018 and has become one of the hottest properties in European football having scored 18 goals in 22 games in all competitions so far this season.
The 21-year-old’s form has alerted Arsenal with Gazzetta dello Sport claiming this week that the Gunners have submitted a player-plus-cash offer worth a total of £58.5m with Lucas Torreira joining Fiorentina on a permanent basis as part of the deal.
Mikel Arteta is in the market for a new striker as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s future in north London appears to be over after he was frozen out of the squad and stripped of the captaincy last month for persistent rule breaches.
Alexandre Lacazette is out of contract at the end of the season and is unlikely to sign a new deal while Eddie Nketiah is also set to leave after failing to sign a new contract, so Arsenal need to bring in attacking reinforcements.
CBS Sports journalist Ben Jacobs has now confirmed that Arsenal have indeed tabled a proposal that would see them pay around £45m in cash plus Torreira in exchange for Vlahovic’s signature.
However, the Gunners will face stiff competition as Jacobs says that Chelsea have now joined the race to sign the 6ft 3in striker with the Serbian’s agent believed to be busy holding talks with plenty of potential suitors.
Jacobs also claims that Vlahovic isn’t yet convinced by a move to Arsenal while Fiorentina are happy to wait for other offers to come in as they look to cash-in this month before the strikers value drops.
He said on Twitter:
Can confirm an Arsenal offer for Dusan Vlahovic of close to 45m plus Torreira. The Fiorentina striker scored 33 goals in 2021, equalling a record in Italy set by Ronaldo. Can see this one dragging out. Vlahovic happy to bide his time & Fiorentina content to assess other offers.
Adding Torreira on a permanent deal helps a little, but Fiorentina will wait for other suitors with Vlahovic not yet fully sold on Arsenal. Chelsea have entered the race, but Barcelona’s interest doesn’t appear too serious.
One thing is for sure, Vlahovic’s agent is busy speaking to lots of clubs. Serbian striker’s contract expires in the summer of 2023, so a January transfer will command the biggest fee… hence a busy agent and links with almost every top club now.
Vlahovic has 18 months left to run on his current contract so this could be the last chance for Fiorentina to command a sizeable transfer fee as his value will decrease the closer he gets to his deal running out.
News of Chelsea’s interest will come as a big blow to Arsenal’s hopes of winning the race for Vlahovic and the Blues may be eyeing the youngster as a potential replacement for Romelu Lukaku – who hinted earlier this week he’d like to return to Inter Milan.
We’ll have to wait and see how things play out over the coming weeks but as it stands Arsenal are in the driving seat as they’ve submitted a serious opening offer for Vlahovic. However, Chelsea have the financial muscle to gazump the Gunners so we’ll have to see if they decide to formalise their interest this month.