Arsenal suffer two setbacks in Dusan Vlahovic pursuit as Erling Haaland problem emerges

Arteta on Tavares substitution

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Arsenal have suffered two major setbacks in their pursuit of Dusan Vlahovic, with the chase for Erling Haaland set to impact the Gunners. Mikel Arteta is keen to sign a new striker, with Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah out of contract at the end of the season, while Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang remains frozen out.

Vlahovic has quickly become the Gunners’ top target in the search for a new man to spearheard their attack.

The Serbian has starred for Fiorentina over the past two seasons, developing into one of Serie A’s best strikers.

He has already scored 18 goals in all competitions this campaign, firing La Viola on a challenge for a European qualification place.

That form in front of goal has attracted the eye of Arsenal, who require replacements for the soon-to-depart Lacazette and Nketiah.

Lacazette is currently the first-choice striker for Arteta, but the Frenchman has never been able to supply the goals expected of his price tag.

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Vlahovic is the player they want to replace Lacazette, in the hope that he can bring more goals to the position.

But they have reportedly suffered two setbacks to their attempts to bring Vlahovic to the Emirates Stadium.

According to The Independent, Fiorentina are demanding the majority of their £75million asking price be paid up front.

It is stated that Arsenal are ‘willing’ to meet that asking price, in the belief that Vlahovic can give them a ‘pivotal’ edge in the race to finish in the top four.

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But they are facing problems around the structure of the deal, with the Gunners keen to pay the fee over the process of four years.

It would be a record transfer fee for Arsenal, but if it is structured over a number of years, it is one they can afford even if Aubameyang is not sold.

As a result, they are relying on Fiorentina compromising on the structure, though the Serie A side are ‘reluctant’ to do that.

Another setback has come with the fact that Vlahovic and his representatives are ‘conscious’ of the fact that the race to sign Haaland could give them more options in the summer.

Like Vlahovic, Haaland is heavily in demand having developed into one of Europe’s best strikers at Borussia Dortmund.

It is stated that the Serbian is expected to ‘essentially benefit’ from being in Haaland’s ‘slipstream’, with the top clubs fighting over the Norwegian.

But it increasingly looks like Real Madrid will win that race to sign him, leading to the other top clubs turning to Vlahovic.

Haaland is unlikely to move on until the summer, with Arsenal set to be at a disadvantage if they are forced to wait until then.

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