Arsenal are said to be interested in signing Fiorentina forward Dusan Vlahovic next summer as Mikel Arteta looks to bolster his attacking options.
According to Gianluca Di Marzio, the Gunners have recently met with the Italian club in London over striking a deal, with the asking price set at £68million – a fee that the Premier League outfit are apparently willing to pay.
It is said that the two clubs have ‘found the outlines of an agreement’, but there is nothing agreed between Arsenal, Vlahovic and the player’s agents.
The Serbia international, who has less than two years remaining on his contract in Florence, could turn down an offer from the Gunners, with Juventus reportedly his preferred option.
The 21-year-old striker has been in fine form for Fiorentina so far this season, scoring 10 goals in 13 appearances in all competitions for the Italian club.
If Arsenal can secure the signing of the highly-rated Vlahovic, then Arteta could have a much more attractive-looking forward line to choose from, but Alexandre Lacazette does look set to leave the Emirates Stadium at the end of the season.
Lacazette sees his contract with the Gunners reach its conclusion next summer and the 30-year-old Frenchman looks as if he is set to leave the club once his deal expires.
However, if Vlahovic comes in, then the blow of losing Lacazette will definitely be softened.
And, with that said, football.london takes a look at two possible ways Arteta could line up if Vlahovic is indeed signed next summer – and Lacazette leaves the club.
There is the option of playing both Vlahovic and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in a two at the top of the pitch but this would perhaps sacrifice Martin Odegaard, as there is simply no room for all three of them.
Emile Smith Rowe and Bukayo Saka have both established themselves as key members of Arteta’s team and, at the time of writing, the thought of leaving either of the Hale End academy graduates out of the XI appears unlikely.
Alternatively, though, Vlahovic could be the sole striker and this would create space for Odegaard to come in to that No. 10 position in what would be a more orthodox 4-2-3-1 formation that Arteta is used to.
The back four is pretty much settled, as well as Aaron Ramsdale, but the midfield duo behind the front four is something that is up for debate.
Albert Sambi Lokonga has been impressive since signing, and he has been handed more of an opportunity since Granit Xhaka has been sidelined through a knee injury.
There is of course an argument to be had for Xhaka to come in to Arteta’s strongest line-up alongside Thomas Partey, but Lokonga, if he continues his progression, could overtake the Switzerland international in the pecking order at the Emirates Stadium.
Source by Football London