Arsenal’s pursuit of Dusan Vlahovic has taken a turn for the bizarre, with suggestions he might have to pay a penalty to avoid joining Juventus.

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: 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. (Photo by Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images)

Ok Calciomercato report that Fiorentina are ready to accept an Arsenal bid of €80m plus bonuses for Dusan Vlahovic, but the player already has an agreement with Juventus to join them on a free transfer when his contract expires in 2023.

If Vlahovic doesn’t do so, he reportedly has to pay a penalty to Juventus.

Reports have suggested that Vlahovic’s camp are demanding large agent fees for a deal, and one theory floating around now is that they want to use these fees to pay that penalty so he can join Arsenal.

Fabrizio Romano reports that Arsenal are indeed trying to sign Vlahovic, and have been for months now, but the situation is complicated and the striker is planning to leave in the summer – not January.

Ben Jacobs adds that Fiorentina and Arsenal sources are claiming no official offer for Vlahovic has been accepted, and nothing is agreed yet.

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)

Jacobs had previously reported that Arsenal were trying for Vlahovic in a January deal, though they need to persuade the player himself.

He wrote that Fiorentina were open to the move, but a summer transfer looks more likely right now.

The Daily Mail had written that Arsenal would have to pay a £58m transfer fee and £300,000-a-week wages for the transfer. Jacobs claims Vlahovic isn’t asking for that much, and talks haven’t reached the point of wage demands anyway.

James Benge reports that Arsenal believe a new striker could put them over the top in the top-four race and Vlahovic is a long-term target, as well as potentially an attainable one this month.

But again, Benge adds that the main obstacle to the deal is that they have to convince him to leave Italy.

Perhaps this penalty clause explains the player’s reported hesitance.

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Arsenal fan since a young age, now a season ticket holder who enjoys writing, tweeting and making videos about the Gunners.