Mikel Arteta defends Arsenal players after Claudio Ranieri accusation
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Arsenal have met a significant barrier in their pursuit of Fiorentina striker Dusan Vlahovic, according to reports in Italy. The Gunners are willing to meet Fiorentina’s £68.3million (€80m) valuation but are currently being ignored by Vlahovic’s representatives.
The 21-year-old burst onto the scene last season, netting 21 Serie A goals in a poorly-performing Viola team.
He’s continued his prolific form in front of goal this term, scoring 10 times in 13 games in all competitions.
His form have prompted links to Italian giants Juventus and other big European clubs, including Arsenal.
But Mikel Arteta could face a fight to lure to towering frontman to the Emirates Stadium, especially in January.
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Gianluca Di Marzio has revealed that Arsenal have held positive talks with Fiorentina but currently can’t get through to Vlahovic’s representatives.
He told Sky Italy: “In January, it is an impossible operation because Fiorentina are asking for €80m.
“In June , Juventus are in the running as well as many teams. The team most interested in Vlahovic for January is Arsenal.
“The English club has established a dialogue more than positive with Fiorentina and would be willing to satisfy the requests of the Viola club to reach an agreement.
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“The problem is that Arsenal are unable to speak to the player’s agents; they do not answer the phone.
“The Gunners want to talk to the boy to explain their project to him, but these lack of answers make it impossible to enter into a negotiation.”
Di Marzio’s latest comments make it seem like while Fiorentina are willing to cash in on Vlahovic, he doesn’t see Arsenal as a viable option.
The Serbian striker will be eyeing Champions League football as soon as possible and could be waiting to see if Arsenal return to the competition this season.
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A dismal eighth-place finish last term resulted in Arteta’s side missing out on Europe altogether, which undoubtedly would’ve impacted the pedigree of players they attracted in the summer.
And with Vlahovic emerging as one of Europe’s top young strikers, he will see European football as essential to his rise to stardom.
If Arsenal can secure a top-four finish and Fiorentina are still ready to sell their most prized asset come May, a deal could be likely.
But for now, Vlahovic seems to be off the table for the Gunners and their optimistic manager.
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