Arsenal have reportedly identified Darwin Nunez as an alternative to Dusan Vlahovic whom they have already supposedly made a major bid for.

LISBON, PORTUGAL - OCTOBER 20: Darwin Nunez of Benfica reacts after a missed opportunity during the UEFA Champions League group E match between SL Benfica and Bayern Muenchen at Estadio da Luz on October 20, 2021 in Lisbon, Portugal. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)
LISBON, PORTUGAL – OCTOBER 20: Darwin Nunez of Benfica reacts after a missed opportunity during the UEFA Champions League group E match between SL Benfica and Bayern Muenchen at Estadio da Luz on October 20, 2021 in Lisbon, Portugal. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)

Almost exactly one year to the day that Arsenal were first linked with a move for Benfica’s Darwin Nunez, they are again being linked with a move with the reportedly preferred Dusan Vlahovic looking unlikely.

That being said, while the Italian media have gone hard, claiming Arsenal have even submitted a mega-bid for Vlahovic, the UK press don’t believe Arsenal are moving for the Fiorentina striker at all.

Regardless of what’s going on there, Darwin Nunez is now back as a ‘new target identified’ despite being linked with Arsenal last December, too.

LISBON, PORTUGAL - SEPTEMBER 29: Darwin Nunez of SL Benfica celebrates scoring his sides third goal during the UEFA Champions League group E match between SL Benfica and FC Barcelona at Estadio da Luz on September 29, 2021 in Lisbon, Portugal. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
LISBON, PORTUGAL – SEPTEMBER 29: Darwin Nunez of SL Benfica celebrates scoring his sides third goal during the UEFA Champions League group E match between SL Benfica and FC Barcelona at Estadio da Luz on September 29, 2021 in Lisbon, Portugal. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

Munez is just 22, so would fit with Mikel Arteta and Edu’s masterplan, and a new forward is expected to arrive with Alexandre Lacazette leaving the club.

Just who that will be is still far from clear.

Nunez is Uruguayan and it is in his home country that the reports of Arsenal’s interest this time around first appeared.

As you can see from the tweet below, Arsenal are far from the only club interested in him.

Atletico Madrid and Borussia Dortmund are also eyeing up the right-footer.

Currently valued at around £18m, Nunez has a contract until 2025 after only joining Benfica last September from UD Almeria. The Portuguese side are said to want over €40m for him.

He has also been out recently with a knee injury, which will be concerning given that a knee problem kept him out of action for 89 days last season and required surgery.

That being said, he has 11 goals, with two assists, in 17 games this season, so hopefully this latest problem is a minor setback.

Arsenal and Dusan Vlahovic: Italian and English media make contrasting claims

According to reports in Italy, Arsenal are the favourites to sign Dusan Vlahovic with Juventus warned to watch out for the Gunners as they also chase the forward but all is not as it seems.

FLORENCE, ITALY - OCTOBER 31: Dusan Vlahovic of ACF Fiorentina reacts during the Serie A match between ACF Fiorentina and Spezia Calcio at Stadio Artemio Franchi on October 31, 2021 in Florence, Italy. (Photo by Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images)
FLORENCE, ITALY – OCTOBER 31: Dusan Vlahovic of ACF Fiorentina reacts during the Serie A match between ACF Fiorentina and Spezia Calcio at Stadio Artemio Franchi on October 31, 2021 in Florence, Italy. (Photo by Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images)

Arsenal have reportedly made a substantial proposal for Dusan Vlahovic, somewhere in the region of €80m. This week, Corriere Fiorentino even reported that Arsenal had upped their offer.

Just a few days ago, it was reported that an Arsenal move for Vlahovic looked to be totally off the table, with reports suggesting neither side was pursuing a move.

The Athletic reported that they understood Vlahovic may prefer to remain in Italy.

This followed Goal reporter Charles Watts writing that there have been no negotiations, and Vlahovic isn’t even a target for Arsenal. The club are seemingly looking for a striker ahead of next year, but not Vlahovic.

James Benge reported the same, tweeting that Arsenal are not actively targeting Vlahovic, and there are no negotiations currently ongoing with Fiorentina.

It was Di Marzio that claimed Arsenal had met with Fiorentina to talk about Vlahovic, informing them they were willing to pay the Serie A club’s asking price of €80m including bonuses.

But Fabrizio Romano denied this, reporting that Arsenal weren’t in talks with Fiorentina.

Unlike the English journalists, Romano added that Arsenal were one of many clubs following Vlahovic’s situation, but there was nothing advanced.

FLORENCE, ITALY - OCTOBER 31: Dusan Vlahovic of ACF Fiorentina in action during the Serie A match between ACF Fiorentina and Spezia Calcio at Stadio Artemio Franchi on October 31, 2021 in Florence, Italy. (Photo by Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images)
FLORENCE, ITALY: Dusan Vlahovic of ACF Fiorentina in action during the Serie A match between ACF Fiorentina and Spezia Calcio at Stadio Artemio Franchi on October 31, 2021. (Photo by Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images)

Fiorentina want to settle Vlahovic’s situation quickly, so they can cash in and find a replacement. They know his contract expires in 2023 and he doesn’t plan to extend, so the sooner the better.

The Athletic suggest the Serie A club are hoping for a European-wide bidding war, so perhaps that’s why Arsenal’s name is being thrown into the mix.

Juventus have been warned by media in Italy to ‘watch out’ for Arsenal and, with all the reports of Arsenal’s interest coming from Italy, and all the denials coming from England, it seems like The Athletic has called it correctly.