Juventus complete £66.6m signing of Dusan Vlahovic from Fiorentina; Serbia international striker had been a target for Arsenal and Tottenham; Vlahovic has signed a four-and-a-half-year deal at Juve; the 22-year-old will wear the No 7 shirt for the Serie A side
Saturday 29 January 2022 07:53, UK
Juventus have completed the signing of striker Dusan Vlahovic from Fiorentina for £66.6m, with the Serbia international joining Juve on a four-and-a-half-year deal.
Arsenal and Tottenham were admirers of the 22-year-old but were unable to meet Fiorentina's asking price.
The £66.6m deal for Vlahovic sees Juventus pay an initial €70m (£58.3m) to Fiorentina over the next three financial years and they will also pay €10m (£8.3m) in performance-related add-ons.
Vlahovic will receive a gross salary of €7m (£5.8m) per season - a total of €31.5m (£26.2m) for the duration of his contract.
Juve and Fiorentina had been in negotiations for some time over a fee for Vlahovic and finally agreed a price on Tuesday.
Fiorentina wanted to sell Vlahovic, who was keen to move to Turin, this month to maximise their profit, as he had just 18 months remaining on his contract.
Vlahovic came to prominence last season when he scored 21 goals in 40 appearances for Fiorentina, and has continued his impressive form with 20 goals in 24 games in all competitions this campaign.
Dharmesh Sheth told The Transfer Show that Dusan Vlahovic only ever had eyes for Juventus...
"Arsenal were interested but it's thought that Vlahovic only wanted to go to Juventus.
"Fiorentina probably would not want to do business with Juventus - there is a big, big rivalry there. They probably wanted to direct Vlahovic towards the English offers.
"The Fiorentina hierarchy have been very public about being open to selling Vlahovic in this transfer window, but they were also very public in saying, 'the agent and player are not coming back to us'. I think it was Fiorentina's way of putting the onus on Vlahovic, because they know the fans will be very disappointed to see him go to Juventus.
"But Fiorentina have been a bit hamstrung with this because he's only got 18 months left on his contract. They have offered him a new deal that would have made him the highest-paid player in Fiorentina's history. He didn't want to sign it."
Arsenal retained a strong interest in Vlahovic but ultimately found it difficult to complete a deal this month due to the size of the transfer fee needed to sign the striker.
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has admitted there is a "cloud" hanging over Arsenal's forward options, with former captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang dropped for disciplinary reasons and Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah into the final six months of their contracts.
Arteta has said the Gunners are working hard on new arrivals and that they "are open" to making a big signing if it is financially viable.
Meanwhile, Sky Sports News reported in August Tottenham were interested in signing Vlahovic.
Italian sources also said Vlahovic's preference was to join a side competing in the Champions League.
Arsenal have not qualified for the competition for the past four seasons, while Spurs have not played in the competition since the 2019/20 season. Both clubs are currently two points off the top four.
Vlahovic joined Fiorentina from Partizan Belgrade in 2018. As well as making an impression in Italy, the striker also has seven goals in 14 games for Serbia.
"I am the Zlatan Ibrahimovic of Belgrade, I will play for the biggest clubs."
Valeri Bojinov was leading the line for Partizan as he witnessed a pimply 15-year-old become the club's youngest-ever player, goalscorer and debutant in Belgrade's Eternal derby against Red Star.
Week after week, Vlahovic repeated his aspirations to Bojinov. It was not long until the former Manchester City striker urged then-Fiorentina sporting director Italo Corvino to fork out £1.7m for his young understudy.
"He was crazy, really crazy," Bojinov said. "But I liked his arrogance. I thought he would become a strong player."
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