Arteta responds to Vlahovic links – ‘We must maximise window’

Will Ford
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta claps the fans

Mikel Arteta said Arsenal must ‘maximise every window’ in response to reports linking the club with a move for Dusan Vlahovic.

Arsenal have been linked with a number of top strikers, including Real Sociedad star Alexander Isak and Everton’s Dominic Calvert-Lewin.

But Vlahovic’s incredible goalscoring record has put him top of Arteta’s wishlist.

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The 21-year-old has already scored 18 goals for Fiorentina this season – a feat that has caught the eye of many of the top Premier League clubs.

The Athletic journalist David Ornstein claimed that Arsenal ‘are trying to sign’ Vlahovic and are ‘pushing’ for the transfer.

The Gunners are believed to be ‘best placed of Vlahovic’s current suitors when it comes to both the fee and salary’ and ‘if the 21-year-old is to move in January then, as things stand, Arsenal are in the strongest position to sign him’.

Lucas Torreira’s current loan could be turned into a permanent move as part of any deal but it’s still ‘unclear’ whether Vlahovic wants to leave Fiorentina now or wait until the summer.

It’s believed Arsenal have put together a package worth £70million for Vlahovic.

When Arteta was specifically asked about Vlahovic at his press conference, he replied: “I think with the amount of things and the way that we want to evolve the squad, we have to maximise every window in many different ways and we are alert.

“[Technical director] Edu and his team are working very hard because we know exactly what we need to do, and whether we can accomplish that in January or in the summer, is a different question as it is related to other stuff.”

Arsenal have already spent big with Arteta at the helm after nearly £150m and the arrival of Vlahovic would make it a record-spending campaign.

The Arsenal coach added: “Again, if it is the right player and we can afford it and we can do what we want to do we will discuss it and make the best possible decision. We are open.”