Who’s going to sign Dusan Vlahovic? That’s one of the big questions of the upcoming January transfer window.
Much like Erling Haaland a couple of years ago, and perhaps like Erling Haaland this coming summer, Vlahovic is an in-demand and in-form striker who is available for a reasonable price.
In his latest Transfer Notebook our Insider Dean Jones has outlined that Vlahovic is aware that Fiorentina might sell him this January as it is when his value is the highest. However, he would prefer to see out the season with La Viola so he can try and win Serie A’s golden boot, the Capocannoniere. He currently leads the way with 15 goals this season.
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Jones mentions that Arsenal and Juventus are interested in signing Vlahovic and it is widely believed the latter are one of the favourites for his signature.
But which club would actually be the best for Vlahovic? As Jones said in his column, Vlahovic has told his representatives that he wants a club who will develop him whilst challenging for the Champions League.
So in this piece we’re going to examine the credentials of Arsenal, Juventus, and a few other clubs of our choosing, as to who might be the perfect fit for Vlahovic. Let’s get started.

Arsenal

Oh Arsenal. On the one hand, it’s Arsenal. But on the other hand you think about pairing Vlahovic with the likes of Bukayo Saka, Martin Odegaard and Emile Smith Rowe and you get pretty excited. But then on your hypothetical third hand you remember there’s a pretty slim chance there will be any Champions League football next season.
Jones notes that Vlahovic has some reservations about joining Arsenal and you can’t really blame him. Of course there are positives (guaranteed starter, nice young team-mates and a cool city and stadium) but Arsenal feel as if it would be a sideways move, not a forward step. And that pretty much puts paid to any idea of seeing Vlahovic at the Emirates next season unless its in FIFA or Football Manager (or eFootball if you’re a masochist).

Vlahovic contro l'Empoli

Image credit: Getty Images

Juventus

Right, with that out of the way let’s move on to a very real likelihood. A lot of reports in Italy (and Jones) peg Juventus as the main frontrunner for Vlahovic’s signing. They badly need a striker and will have ambitions of competing at Europe’s top table once again next season. Unlike Inter (Lautaro Martinez), Milan (Rafael Leao) or Napoli (Victor Osimhen) there won’t be a real rival for Vlahovic at Juventus. You’d imagine that will be because Alvaro Morata will be sent back to Atletico Madrid in the summer.
So that would leave Vlahovic playing with Paulo Dybala and Federico Chiesa, that sounds pretty good right? Plus he lives in Italy already so he wouldn’t have to get acclimatised to a new country.

Paulo Dybala (Juventus)

Image credit: Getty Images

The only real question mark here is where are Juventus going? They are currently seventh in Serie A, two points behind Vlahovic’s current team. There are a lot of very well-paid average players in the squad and their poor recruiting over the past few years has been brutally exposed this season. They are not one Vlahovic away from being title contenders, there is work to be done across the board. Plus there’s still the pesky fact that Dybala’s extension isn’t actually signed yet…

Manchester City

This might be the best fit of all the clubs we’re going to mention. Not only are City one of the three or four best clubs in Europe, manager Pep Guardiola has a proven track record of improving players. The work he has done with the likes of Raheem Sterling and Gabriel Jesus is notable, and the mind boggles at what he could do with a player like Vlahovic.
The Serbian international should have no issues adjusting to the physical demands of the Premier League either. He is big and strong and whilst not the quickest he has a decent turn of pace. Tactically Guardiola could really elevate him and he wouldn’t be lacking for service either.

Erling Haaland

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The problem for the City move is that you’d have to imagine their priority will be Haaland. It doesn’t feel as if Vlahovic will wait around for that transfer saga to unfold.

Other Premier League clubs

Tottenham Hotspur and newly-minted Newcastle United have both been linked to Vlahovic but like Arsenal the first question that comes to mind is, why?
Of all the other English sides Liverpool perhaps make the most sense. They have a space in their team for a player who can score goals consistently and, as his hat-trick of assists at the weekend showed, he is more than happy bringing others into play, which should keep Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane happy.

Jurgen Klopp

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He should be cheaper than Haaland both in terms of transfer fee and salary, which should keep Liverpool owners FSG happy, and like Guardiola, Jurgen Klopp has proven he can get players to new levels.

La Liga clubs

So we’ll run through Spanish and German clubs quickly here, mostly because there hasn’t really been much talk of either. In Spain Real Madrid are firmly fixated on Kylian Mbappe, and to a lesser extent Haaland, and with Barcelona there is no expectation they could afford him.
Atletico Madrid have been tentatively linked but again you question whether they have the financial clout unless somehow Juventus make Morata’s loan into a permanent transfer. Plus if they renew Luis Suarez there will be a lot of options trying to fit into the attacking positions.

Bundesliga clubs

In many ways Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund make a lot of sense. The latter will lose Haaland this summer, with Donyell Malen failing to impress thus far, whilst at some stage you’d have to imagine Robert Lewandowski will slow down for the former.
Yet similar to Spain there hasn’t been much talk and based on that you can probably assume that it seems as if Vlahovic doesn’t really have much interest in Germany. A shame perhaps but it does mean we shouldn’t really explore it too much.

Dusan Vlahovic, Fiorentina-Spezia, Getty Images

Image credit: Getty Images

Verdict

A lot of clubs want Vlahovic but he probably only wants a select few. City and Liverpool would be fantastic moves for him. Both are teams at the highest level who have a clear plan for the future and a track-record of developing players. However both may well become infatuated by Haaland and drop him down the pecking order. Players are human beings too and there is something to being someone’s first choice.
So with that in mind, and despite their very real flaws, it feels as if Juventus would be the best move. This comes with the rather heavy caveat that there is no lasting result (like a transfer ban, points deduction or worse) from the transfer investigation they are currently under. But if they can get into the top four, clear out some of the deadwood and make some smart signings then with Vlahovic’s goals Juve could be right back at the top next season.
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