Exclusive: Arsenal FC expert reveals the truth about transfer links with Serie A star

Arsenal journalist Charles Watts has revealed the truth behind the ongoing transfer links between the Gunners and Juventus striker Dusan Vlahovic.

The Serbia international is once again the subject of some transfer speculation ahead of this summer, though it seems Watts isn’t convinced by the stories that have come out from the Italian press in particular.

Speaking exclusively to CaughtOffside for his Daily Briefing column this week, Watts made it clear that he’s never heard of anything that concrete with Arsenal and Vlahovic, and that he suspects the north London club’s name were being used to some extent as part of the negotiations that eventually saw the player move to Juve.

Vlahovic had been most strongly linked with Arsenal when he was at Fiorentina, but he didn’t make the move then, and Watts isn’t sure anything has really changed now.

Vlahovic transfer: How much truth is there to the Arsenal links?

Dusan Vlahovic celebrates a goal for Juventus

“Dusan Vlahovic is a player who was heavily linked with Arsenal in the past and we’re seeing some stories about him again ahead of this summer. There was lots of talk, most of which came from Italy, that they were desperately trying to sign him when he was at Fiorentina,” Watts said.

“It was one of those transfer sagas that was actually quite difficult to follow because the speculation from Italy was so intense and the reports were so adamant that Arsenal were having bids knocked back, that it felt like there must be something in the rumours. But all along, the word I was getting when speaking to people around Arsenal was that the reports were way off.

“Yes, there was some interest because he was a good player who was scoring goals – every top club around Europe was probably interested – but I was always told that that was as far as it went in terms of Arsenal. Sources I spoke to were adamant that no bids had been made and that the sense at the club was that Fiorentina and Vlahovic’s agents were using Arsenal’s name to try and get Juventus to firm up their interest and put some big money on the table, which of course they eventually did.

“I’ve not heard anything to suggest that Arsenal are looking at Vlahovic as a priority target this summer. He’s done OK at Juventus, but I’m not sure he’s done enough to convince Arsenal, or anyone else, that he would be worth the money it would probably take to get him out of Turin.”

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