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Mikel Arteta replies when asked directly about Arsenal link to Dusan Vlahovic

Mikel Arteta remains coy when quizzed about Arsenal's reported interest in signing Dusan Vlahovic from Fiorentina

Mikel Arteta
Mikel Arteta (Photo: Arsenal Media)

Mikel Arteta has refused to be drawn on the speculation linking Dusan Vlahovic with a move to Arsenal in the January transfer window.

The north London side have been credited with a strong interest in landing the Serbian forward from Fiorentina this month, with some reports claiming that the Gunners have already tabled an offer for the 21-year-old.

Arsenal are believed to be on the lookout for attacking reinforcements this month as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang continues to be left out and as the clock ticks down on Alexandre Lacazette’s contract, which expires this summer.

Whether there is much truth the rumours that Arsenal are making bold moves to sign Vlahovic this month is not known, but Arteta refused to comment on the reports linking the Serbian forward to the Gunners this week.

Asked directly about reports linking Dusan Vlahovic with a move to Arsenal during the January window, Arteta said on Wednesday: “I am really sorry to disappoint you, but I am not going to be discussing any transfer rumours. I have never done it, and obviously we cannot do it.”

Arteta was then pressed on whether it would be realistic for the Gunners to pull off a big-name signing this month without the lure of European football.

He replied: “I don’t know. Historically this club has always been targeting the best players in the world and the best players in the world are always interested to come here and I can say that situation hasn’t changed.

“Anytime I have spoken to any player, they were so willing to come, I haven’t faced any other situation and that’s one of our biggest powers, our capacity to get the attention of people to come and join our club, it’s something that is a big advantage for us.”

The 21-year-old Vlahovic has been earning a reputation as one of Europe’s top young forwards, with the Serbian having already netted 16 goals and made two assists in Serie A this term.

Meanwhile, Arteta also appeared to rule out the chance of Eddie Nketiah leaving Arsenal this month.

The 22-year-old has found his first-team opportunities to be limited this season, and he is yet to start a game in the Premier League despite featuring prominently in the cup competitions.

“The situation is that Eddie is our player and Eddie is going to stay here with us,” said Arteta. “He’s our player and he’s under contract, so he will stay with us.”

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