Mikel Arteta reflects on Arsenal's defeat at Liverpool
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Fiorentina striker and reported Arsenal target Dusan Vlahovic has already struck an agreement to leave the Serie A club ahead of next season, according to reports. The 21-year-old has emerged as one of Europe’s finest young marksmen in recent years after establishing himself as a key asset for Fiorentina.
Vlahovic bagged 21 goals in all competitions last season and has already found the net on 12 occasions since the beginning of the current campaign.
He is believed to be a target for Arsenal, who are said to be keen on bolstering their ranks in attack in the January transfer window.
Alexandre Lacazette will be out of contract at the end of the season and is not expected to sign a new deal with the Gunners between now and the summer.
Vlahovic has reportedly been earmarked as a priority target by those in command at the Emirates Stadium to replace the outgoing Frenchman on a long-term basis.
However, it has recently been claimed that Vlahovic and his agent have turned down an initial proposal from Arsenal in order to hold out for bigger offers.
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It seems as though another club have since jumped ahead of the Gunners in the race to land the Serbian forward ahead of next season.
An agreement has already been privately reached between Vlahovic and an unnamed side, according to transfer expert Fabrizio Romano.
“The feeling around Fiorentina is that this boy has already an agreement with a top club and they don’t know which club is it,” Romano told The Arsenal Lounge.
“They are still waiting to see what happens. Arsenal had a contact with Fiorentina to ask them: ‘How do you want to sell the player in January?’
“Fiorentina told them: ‘We want £70million.’ There was a conversation between the player and Fiorentina but, from the player’s side, nothing going on [with Arsenal] because he has no interest at the moment.”
It appears as though Arsenal will now be forced to channel their resources into a move for one of their other targets in order to strengthen in the January window.
A number of top-class forwards have been linked with the Gunners in recent weeks, including the likes of Real Sociedad marksman Alexander Isak and Club Brugge winger Noa Lang.
Meanwhile, former Arsenal midfielder Robert Pires recently urged Mikel Arteta to chase the addition of an extra defender to shore things up at the back ahead of the Premier League run-in.
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“It is difficult, but in January if Arsenal can spend money maybe on a defender because I think our midfield and strikers are very good players,” said Pires.
“In my opinion, sign English players because we need English players in this squad, because when you play in the Premier League, you need a player like this.
“For example, in my time I played with Tony Adams, Lee Dixon and Martin Keown, Ashley Cole and this is the base for your team. They need to spend the money on a defender in my opinion, English.”
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