ARSENAL legend Alan Smith has backed the club to sign Fiorentina striker Dusan Vlahovic if they are ‘smart and quick’ in January.
The The Gunners have been heavily linked with a move for the 21-year-old, who has scored 17 goals in 19 games in all competitions this season.
Mikel Arteta’s side is understood as facing competition from Manchester United and Tottenham in the race to secure its services.
And Newcastle is said to be willing to pay a huge £85m to bring the Serbia international to St James’ Park.
Arsenal could be in the market for a new centre-back in the new year with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang left out of the final two-match squad due to disciplinary issues.
After being stripped of the captaincy, Aubameyang will also be left out of the squad to face Leeds on Saturday in a sign, he can be frozen for an indefinite amount of time.
Meanwhile Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah have only six months left on their contracts in North London, which could force Arteta to bring in another striker.
Former Gunners star Smith believes Vlahovic could be the answer, but insists his former side need to act fast if they want to sign him.
I said Sports sky: “Having a proven striker in the Premier League is a big deal. Does Arsenal have that kind of cash?
“If they put in £60m or £70m, that will prevent them from strengthening other areas of the team in the transfer market. They’ll put all their eggs in one basket.
“I would probably guess that they would go the route of a younger player from Europe. Someone like Dusan Vlahovic, who still doesn’t come cheap, might fit the bill.
“I’m sure Arsenal’s analysis team is looking at all the stats to see who would be a good fit and maybe a little cheaper.
“As I said before, a lot of clubs are after that type of striker, so let’s hope Arsenal can be smart and quick in the transfer market. They will need to.”
Fiorentina director Joe Barone recently announced that Vlahovic, tied in Florence until 2023, has turned down a new contract offer.
I said La Repubblica: “We have offered Vlahovic the highest contract ever in the history of Fiorentina, many times.
“Both Dusan and his agent made us realize that they did not want to accept. Our bid is still on the table. ”
⚽ Read ours Live blog football news for the latest gossip, gossip and deals done
https://www.thesun.co.uk/sport/football/17074061/arsenal-alan-smith-dusan-vlahovic-transfer/ Arsenal back Dusan Vlahovic transfer if they’re ‘smart and quick’ despite Newcastle’s £85m interest