Arteta launches staunch defence of Arsenal's transfer policy
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Fiorentina have confirmed that their star striker Dusan Vlahovic won’t be signing a contract extension following weeks of negotiations with the player’s entourage. The Serbian hotshot, who struck 21 Serie A goals last season, was the subject of strong interest from a whole host of clubs earlier this summer including Tottenham and Manchester City.
Spurs were looking to sign the 21-year-old to play alongside Harry Kane but a deal proved difficult as the Viola dug their heels into the ground.
Atletico Madrid were the only club to table an official offer but the approach was rebuffed by Fiorentina.
The Italian club felt under no pressure to sell and were therefore adamant that they could convince Vlahovic to sign a new contract at the Artemio Franchi Stadium.
However, Fiorentina’s billionaire owner Rocco B. Commisso has now confirmed contract talks with Vlahovic have broken down.
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“Vlahovic has not accepted our huge contract extension proposal. We’ve been trying for months, but it’s over,” he said.
The dramatic twist is set to place a number of Premier League clubs on red alert ahead of the January transfer window.
Arsenal were also reportedly in the running with Spurs for Vlahovic as the Gunners carefully consider their attacking options as Alexandre Lacazette’s contract trickles down.
Meanwhile, champions City are also still in the market for a striker having missed out on England captain Kane.
Vlahovic is understood to be one of the names on their radar with Borussia Dortmund’s Erling Haaland.
Spurs could also return for the former Partizan Belgrade wonderkid, particularly if Kane angles for an exit once again.
Fiorentina’s No 9 has already struck six times in eight matches this season as he looks to prove he is no one-season wonder.
Speaking after the 2-1 defeat to Napoli this weekend, Fiorentina director Joe Barone refused to go into further detail on contract talks with Vlahovic despite confirming the club had made “enormous efforts” to keep him.
“It’s something that has been on the table for many months. We’re making enormous efforts,” the director told DAZN.
“Today we play a crucial game, so I would like to stay on this theme. For the rest, we work day by day.”
Fiorentina may now be forced to cash in on Vlahovic at the end of the season should they fail to reignite contract talks, to avoid losing him on a free transfer in 2023.
The Viola are understood to be offering around £34m over five years in wages and bonuses.
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