Fiorentina have begrudgingly accepted they are ready to sell Dusan Vlahovic after Arsenal made a €70m (£58.5m) bid to sign the striker, according to reports.
The Gunners are planning for future without Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette – who are both out of contract at the end of the campaign – and Vlasovic has emerged as the club’s main attacking target this January.
The 21-year-old has entered into the last 18 months of his contract at Fiorentina and has attracted the attentions of a number of Europe’s top sides with his goalscoring exploits in Serie A.
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Until now, Fiorentina had been hopeful that Vlasovic would put an end to the speculation by signing a new deal, with club president Rocco Commisso warning the player he would not be ‘screwed by players’ this week.
But, Italian publication La Repubblica claim Commisso is now ‘ready to let the player go’, with the player’s ‘future moving further and further away from Florence’.
It’s believed Vlahovic’s representatives have been demanding an €8m (£6.6m) fee to get a renewal over the line at Fiorentina plus 10 per cent of any possible transfer fee.
Everton’s Calvert-Lewin and Real Sociedad’s Alexander Isak have also been linked with Arsenal this January window, but it appears the club are closing in on Vlahovic and a deal looks possible.
Speaking on Optus Sport, Ian Wright encouraged Arsenal to get a deal done for Vlahovic and suggested things could ‘start to happen’ should they have a productive January transfer window.
‘Arsenal have done fantastic business up until this point,’ Wright said on The Kelly and Wrighty Show.
‘I believe they do need to get another striker, even if everything can be sorted with Aubameyang. ‘I’m hearing Vlahovic from Fiorentina. We need that player who can be between Lacazette and Aubameyang.
‘I don’t know what’s happening with Laca, I’d love him to stay, I don’t know what’s happening with him, and we don’t know what’s happening with Aubameyang.
‘But if we can get that striker, that hard-running striker who is good at the link-up play and is a good finisher – which Vlahovic is – then you’re starting to think it’s starting to happen now for Arsenal.’
Former Arsenal full-back Nigel Winterburn, meanwhile, believes Dusan Vlahovic could be an ‘interesting signing’ given the striker ‘can offer something different’ to Arteta’s current options.
‘We’re being linked with a lot of young strikers but I do like Vlahovic from Fiorentina because he looks like he can offer something different,’ Winterburn told Paddy Power.
‘He scores all sorts of goals. He takes penalties, he scores from close range, and from the edge of the box. He’s left-footed and looks powerful and strong. ‘There seems to be a big push from Arsenal and he’s the one name that keeps coming up.
‘It will be interesting to see how that develops but like everything, if he does come to Arsenal, I’m only interested in what he does when he’s at our football club. He would be an interesting signing.’