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Dusan Vlahovic rules out January move to Arsenal

Dusan Vlahovic rules out January move to Arsenal
© Reuters
Juventus striker Dusan Vlahovic rules out a January move to Arsenal and reveals that his agent is discussing a contract renewal with the Old Lady.

Juventus striker Dusan Vlahovic has rubbished reports linking him with a January move to Arsenal and has revealed that he is already discussing a contract renewal in Turin.

After bursting onto the Serie A scene with Fiorentina, Vlahovic was briefly thought to be Emirates-bound in the January 2022 window as a replacement for the exiled Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

However, Vlahovic snubbed interest from Mikel Arteta's side to join Juventus in a £71.6m deal, leaving Alexandre Lacazette to spearhead the Gunners attack for the final six months of his contract.

Arsenal's failure to bring in a new number nine for the second half of the 2021-22 season was pinpointed as a major factor in their failure to qualify for the Champions League, and the Gunners addressed that shortcoming by bringing in Gabriel Jesus that summer.

The Brazilian has been unable to hit a rich vein of goalscoring form due to injuries, though, while Eddie Nketiah is yet to find consistency at Arsenal, who allowed Folarin Balogun to join Monaco over the summer.

Dusan Vlahovic for Serbia in September 2022© Reuters

As a result, the Premier League leaders are said to be targeting a new big-name striker in January or the summer of 2024, and they have been tipped to try again for Vlahovic, who has struggled to reach the same heights in Turin that he did at Fiorentina.

Chelsea have also been credited with an interest in the Serbia international, but in an interview with La Gazzetta dello Sport - as quoted by the Evening Standard - the 23-year-old confirmed his desire to continue in a Juventus strip.

"I didn't experience it as a different summer from the others, from my point of view nothing happened," Vlahovic said. "I have always been focused and calm, even during the tour in America, when I missed the match against AC Milan due to a physical problem. I have always been calm.

"I was always sure I wanted to stay. The noises are always there, and they are part of the game, if we start listening to everyone, we can go crazy. I isolated myself and only thought about the retreat and in the end I'm very happy I stayed. It was what I wanted."

Vlahovic's existing deal with Massimiliano Allegri's side does not expire until the summer of 2026, but Juve are said to be optimistic of agreeing a new contract with their main focal point.

Dusan Vlahovic in action for Juventus on October 21, 2022© Reuters

The ex-Fiorentina man confirmed that discussions are already underway between his agent and Juventus director Cristiano Giuntoli over new terms, adding: "I play in one of the most important teams in the world.

"I am honoured and proud, for now I see myself here. I still have two-and-a-half years left on my contract, but we are in no hurry. [Juve sporting director Cristiano] Giuntoli and my agent are already talking. I'm very happy to be here."

Vlahovic has amassed 28 goals and seven assists in 74 matches for Juventus since his arrival last winter, including a respectable five goals and one assist from 11 Serie A contests in the 2023-24 campaign.

With a move for Vlahovic off the cards, Arsenal could instead make moves for Brentford's Ivan Toney and Napoli's Victor Osimhen, although the Gunners are said to be prioritising a new midfielder for the second half of the campaign.

Thomas Partey - who is said to be on Juventus' shortlist - could be allowed to leave in January amid his perpetual injury problems, while Jorginho and Mohamed Elneny are both out of contract in 2024.

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