EXCLUSIVE: Vlahovic still Arteta's preferred No.9 target for Arsenal

Steve Kay
Steve Kay
  • Updated: 9 Nov 2023 14:33 GMT
  • 3 min read
Dusan Vlahovic, Arsenal
© ProShots

Dusan Vlahovic remains Mikel Arteta's preferred option for the number nine position, FootballTransfers has been told.

The Arsenal boss is a long-time admirer of the Serb and wanted to sign him in previous transfer windows. In January 2022, the then-Fiorentina man rejected the Gunners to stay in Italy and sign for Juventus in a deal worth more than €80 million instead.

Article continues under the video

Despite this, Arteta remains a big fan of Vlahovic and would jump at the chance to sign him if the opportunity presented itself again, well-placed sources have informed FootballTransfers.

EXCLUSIVE: Real Madrid tracking Brazil wonderkid Marcos Leonardo

Vlahovic was Arteta's main target to lead the north London club's frontline before the summer 2022 signing of Gabriel Jesus and that hasn't changed. Jesus has no doubt been a great signing for the Gunners but his repeated fitness issues and his lack of production in the Premier League this season are cause for concern.

At 23, Vlahovic fits the age profile of players Arsenal are looking at and, it is believed, the Serb could be a cheaper option than some of the other names linked with the Premier League side in recent times, such as Victor Osimhen and Ivan Toney.

Dusan Vlahovic
© ProShots - Dusan Vlahovic

Vlahovic at Juventus

Dusan Vlahovic has had an up-and-down - though mostly down - time in Turin since his switch from Florence. That is not a concern to Arteta, however, and the news of his continued interest in the striker is unsurprising given that the Spaniard will always keep an eye on a player once identified as a potential option, similar to Pedro Neto at Wolves.

To date, the hulking forward has found the net 27 times in 72 games, often being singled out for criticism when the Bianconeri have struggled. This season, the Turin side are having a better time of it and currently occupy second in the Serie A table, with Vlahovic having scored four goals in nine outings.

EXCLUSIVE: Tottenham eye Brentford double swoop in January

Juve tried to offer Vlahovic to Chelsea in a swap deal with Romelu Lukaku in the summer, indicating their willingness to potentially cash in on the striker. As part of the offer, they demanded an additional €40m on top, so if the Gunners were to make a move, they would have to part with a hefty fee.

Never miss the next big transfer!

Get the latest transfer insights and analyses directly in your mailbox.