Arsenal boss aiming to add new striker

Gunners are linked with Vlahovic and Isak

Thursday, 6th January — By Steve Barnett

Mikel Arteta IMG_7781 (1)

Mikel Arteta: ‘We all know it’s a very complicated market, and it’s a short window, so we’ll see what happens’

ARSENAL are gunning for a new striker this month, and have targeted two of Europe’s finest young marksmen to help bolster their ailing attack.

According to reports in Italy, the north Londoners have bid in the region of £45m, plus £15m-rated midfielder Lucas Torreira, for Fiorentina forward Dusan Vlahovic.

The 21-year-old Serbian striker boasts impressive statistics in Serie A having scored 16 goals in 19 league appearances so far this season. And Vlahovic may be on the move sooner rather than later, with Fiorentina’s director Joe Barone accusing the player’s agent of showing a “total lack of respect” towards the club.

He said: “During the most recent meeting with [Fiorentina] president Rocco Commisso, Vlahovic’s agent almost doubled his demands, showing a total lack of respect for the club and the president. I then met with his agent and the same thing happened. There were no steps forward, no progress. We’ve been working on these negotiations for around a year. When we increased our offer, they continued to ask for more in both salary and commissions.”

With Manchester City, Bayern Munich and Juventus also said to be monitoring Vlahovic, it is believed that the player will turn down Arsenal, and is holding out for a club who are in a better position to immediately win trophies and compete in the Champions League.

But with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah all seemingly edging ever closer to the Emirates exit door, Arsenal know they can’t put all their eggs in one basket.

They are also reportedly working hard behind the scenes to sign Alexander Isak. The Gunners are said to be in pole position to snap up the 22-year-old Swedish striker after claims his current club, Real Sociedad, are refusing to sell Isak to La Liga rivals Barcelona.

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has already made it clear that there will be “some activity” in this transfer period, adding: “We all know it’s a very complicated market, and it’s a short window, so we’ll see what happens.”

Meanwhile, Arsenal’s Carabao Cup semi-final first leg against Liverpool, which was due to be played at the Emirates tonight (Thursday) was postponed after the EFL accepted a request from the Merseyside club following further cases of Covid in their squad.

An EFL statement read: “As a result of the postponement the order of the ties has now changed, with the first of the two legs to take place at Anfield on 13 January 2022 at 7.45pm.

“The rearranged game (now the 2nd leg) is scheduled to be played at the Emirates on 20 January 2022 at 7.45pm.”

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