Newcastle poised to hijack Chelsea move for £66m striker as Howe plans for Champions League football

Harry Watkinson
Dusan Vlahovic of Juventus

Newcastle United will reportedly push to sign Juventus striker Dusan Vlahovic this summer, who is thought to be one of Chelsea’s biggest targets.

The centre-forward almost moved to the Premier League last year when Arsenal tried to sign him from Fiorentina. However, Vlahovic ultimately opted to remain in Italy.

Since heading to Turin, the 23-year-old has scored 20 goals in 52 appearances across all competitions. While this is not an incredible return, they are solid numbers nonetheless, especially given he has struggled with injuries recently.

However, Juventus are reportedly considering selling Vlahovic and will look to recoup as much of the £66.6m they spent on him.

Maximiliano Allegri’s team will need to sell some of their prized assets at the end of the season to help fund a squad rebuild and Vlahovic certainly fits into that category.

This is good news for Chelsea, as well as Manchester United, who have both registered an interest in the Serbia international in recent months. 

This season, the Blues have had to play most of the campaign without a natural centre-forward.

They brought in Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang last summer, but after he failed to convince recently sacked manager Graham Potter of his abilities, he has barely played.

They do have January signing David Datro Fofana at their disposal now, but he lacks the experience to lead the front line.

As a result, Kai Havertz has been forced to play out of position as a centre-forward, which has had a detrimental impact on their season – with Chelsea currently sitting in a disappointing 11th place in the league table.

With that in mind, signing a new front man will clearly be the priority for Todd Boehly and co, with Vlahovic thought to be at the top of their shortlist.

But, according to reports, Newcastle are poised to scupper their plans.

As per CaughtOffside, Vlahovic has now emerged on Eddie Howe’s radar, as he plans to revamp his squad ahead of next season.

With the Magpies looking likely, at this stage, to qualify for the Champions League, they will need greater squad depth and quality players to help them compete among Europe’s elite.

Signing Vlahovic would give Howe another excellent attacking option alongside Alexander Isak, who has been in tremendous scoring form of late.

As mentioned, Juve cannot demand much more than the £66.6m they paid for the Serbian as he has not quite lived up to expectations there.

This will please the Newcastle hierachy, as it means they will not have to pay way over the odds for him.

In previous years, Vlahovic would have easily chosen Chelsea over Newcastle when moving to the Prem. But that is no longer the case.

Indeed, if Vlahovic wants to continue playing in Europe’s premier club competition, then a move to St James’ Park would make sense, so it will be interesting to see what happens with him this summer.

READ MORE: Newcastle ‘will be active’ for former forward target as Magpies look to get last laugh over PSG