On the front page of La Gazzetta dello Sport on Friday morning, there was a very nice centerpiece story that involved Juventus and the hunt for a new No. 9. It wasn’t the fact that Alvaro Morata was leaving and that Juve would have to find a replacement. Instead, it involved a player at the center of some other rumors about a potential summer move.
Or, in this case, trying to make a potential summer move a potential January move.
La Gazzetta dello Sport reported Friday that Juventus are trying to bring Fiorentina hitman Dusan Vlahovic to the club — in January. Not this summer, in January. In an initial bid that would include €35 million cash and Swedish winger Dejan Kulusevski, Juventus are trying to convince Fiorentina to allow the in-demand Vlahovic leave for Turin during the current transfer window rather than risk him going to the Premier League or any number of his numerous suitors around Europe. The reported offer, with a total value of around €70 million, is relatively close to the price tag of €75 million to €80 million Fiorentina want for Vlahovic.
Except ... Fiorentina ain’t havin’ it. Or, at the very least, Fiorentina hasn’t gotten any sort of bid from Juventus just yet. We know that because that denial of any sort of Juventus offer for Vlahovic came down a few hours after the front page of La Gazzetta was snatched up by folks all around Italy. The words from Fiorentina general manager Joe Barone:
“We didn’t receive any offer from Juventus and we don’t know what the player wants to do. He must inform us sooner or later.”
Well, if that ain’t a complete tanker of water dumped on the little fire we had going in the backyard on a cold day in the middle of January.
That doesn’t mean La Gazzetta has slowed down in their reporting of what Juve may or may not be doing on the Vlahovic front. In another report published in Saturday’s edition, Gazzetta has stated that Juventus has offered Vlahovic a contract worth €7 million net per season. (By God, that’s Aaron Ramsey and Adrien Rabiot kind of money!) The deal would also include performance-related bonuses, with the goal of trying to lure Vlahovic to Turin and have a contract lined up despite the likes of Arsenal very much interested in him even if he doesn’t look so keen on a move to the Premier League at the moment.
Barone said as much during Friday’s interview, stating that Arsenal has submitted an offer for Vlahovic recently but it was rejected by the player and his agent.