Dusan Vlahovic has claimed he never spoke to anyone about a January offer from Arsenal, he was solely focused on joining Juventus.
The big Arsenal transfer story of the January window was a potential move for Dusan Vlahovic, who ended up joining Juventus.
Though Fiorentina chiefs have regularly mentioned Arsenal’s attempt to sign their former player, Vlahovic himself suggests he didn’t know about it.
“Maybe my agent knows [about Arsenal’s offer] but I never talked to anyone about it,” Vlahovic said. “I just had one club in my mind because Juventus is Juventus.
“There is nothing else to say. And now I feel honoured to be given this jersey. It’s incredible every time I put it on.”
It’s very possible Vlahovic really wasn’t kept informed about Arsenal’s pursuit of him. It would’ve been up to his agents to let him know how things were going, and the suggestion was always that they were after a big payday from the Serie A club.
From a less cynical perspective, there also wouldn’t have been much point in informing Vlahovic about an Arsenal bid if he’d already made his mind up to join Juventus.
Fiorentina owner Rocco B. Commisso spoke to the media in May, claiming Vlahovic could have ruined them and he would have been better off staying with Fiorentina.
“I told [the Fiorentina directors] to find another attacker and they bought Piatek and then Cabral,” Commisso said.
“In the meantime, the lad who could have ruined us (Vlahovic), who told us he would sign then blocked the signing of a centre-forward in August.
“I don’t know how many months they (Vlahovic’s camp) had been speaking to Juventus for, but a week later, after he didn’t want Arsenal, Real [Madrid], and Atletico, Juventus came forward and we struck a deal.
“The situation went like this: but if they signed a contract with us, he would have done better than how he is doing at Juventus.”
There’s certainly a sense that Juventus’ style of play hasn’t suited Vlahovic so far. He’s had to grind out his own chances in a team that hasn’t made many for him.
Vlahovic’s total of nine goals in 21 games this season at Juventus is very much overshadowed by the 20 in 24 games he’d reached with Fiorentina before leaving.
Time will tell if he (or his agents) made the correct decision.