Arsenal’s hierarchy are willing to spend upwards of £70 million to sign Fiorentina striker Dusan Vlahovic this month, The Mirror reports.
The Gunners recently suffered a shock 1-0 FA Cup third round defeat to Nottingham Forest where they failed to register a single shot on target.
Eddie Nketiah was tasked with leading the line with the in-form trio of Martin Odegaard, Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli behind him.
Alexandre Lacazette came off the bench for the final 20 minutes, but also failed to make an impact. Forest bagged a late winner in the end.
It is now reported that manager Mikel Arteta could receive the backing from the hierarchy this month with a big-money move for Vlahovic.
There is plenty of transfer interest in the Serbian, but the Gunners are willing to pay over £70m to secure a mid-season deal for the 21-year-old.
Arteta recently axed Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang from the matchday squad for six games following his second disciplinary breach in a year.
The Gabon international is now away on African Cup of Nations duty, but it has been reported that the club could offload him before deadline day.
Meanwhile, Nketiah could also leave with his contract expiring in June. This will definitely leave a huge void up front, particularly if Lacazette gets injured.
The Gunners can’t afford such a situation, and there are no surprises that the hierarchy are prepared to back Arteta with funds for a marquee signing.
Nearly four years ago, the north London giants managed to lure Aubameyang without Champions League football, and they face a similar task with Vlahovic.
The Serbian reportedly has the preference to stay in Serie A with Juventus, but the Bianconeri are unlikely to afford him unless they can sort out an initial loan.
With Vlahovic having rejected a contract beyond June 2023, Fiorentina will want to sell for the best price. Their resolve should be seriously tested with a £70m plus bid.
Vlahovic has bagged 18 goals and three assists from just 22 games this term. His arrival would be a big statement for the Gunners as they aim for a top-four finish.
Stats from Transfermarkt.com
Read: Mikel Arteta speaks on Xhaka, Tomiyasu and Smith Rowe after shock FA Cup exit.