Dusan Vlahovic has reportedly turned down the chance to sign for Arsenal despite claims the north London club are set to tie up a deal for him.
Vlahovic has emerged as one of the most in-demand strikers in Europe amidst his terrific form for Fiorentina in Serie A.
The 21-year-old has scored 20 goals in 24 appearances in all competitions this term after an impressive 2020/21 campaign in which he netted 21 times in the league.
Tottenham and Juventus have also been linked with a move for the prolific Serbian but his future destination remains uncertain with the striker not ruling out renewing his contract at the Artemio Franchi Stadium.
Arsenal are in desperate need of a striker in the next two windows with Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah both out of contract at the end of the season, while Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang hasn’t played since being stripped of the captaincy.
Vlahovic has been consistently linked with the Gunners over the last few months with reports claiming late last week that they would submit an official offer over the weekend.
Fiorentina director Joe Barone told the striker last week to “immediately communicate his plan” amid reports linking him with a move to the Emirates Stadium.
Barone said: “We expect Dusan to make a decision on his future immediately, we need an answer if he stays or wants to leave. We asked Dusan two days ago to decide and communicate his plan in public immediately.
“We’re open to consider all the proposals we’ll receive for Vlahovic – no bid is on the table right now. We’ve not received any official offer. Let’s see if some proposal will arrive.”
Italian newspaper La Nazione have claimed today that Arsenal are ‘ready to formalise’ a deal for Vlahovic ‘within 48 hours’ after the Gunners decided to ‘dive into the operation’ in January.
Journalist Enzo Bucchioni told Firenze Viola (via Sport Witness) that Arsenal ‘are willing to pay between €70-80m by including Lucas Torreira, valued at €15m, in the package’ as well as a hefty €8m a year plus any bonuses.
Arsenal were also willing to offer his agent €10m lump sum for sorting the deal which would’ve taken the total package to around €130m – but the deal has ‘now been met with a fairly strong no thanks.’
Bucchioni describes the reason Vlahovic doesn’t want to sign for Arsenal as ‘simple’, the journalist explains that ‘the offer lacks one of the objectives that Dusan asks of his future: to win.’