Merson urges Arsenal to go all-out for £58m target to replace ‘finished’ star
Photo by Ettore Griffoni/LiveMedia/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Merson urges Arsenal to go all-out for £58m target to replace ‘finished’ star

Photo by Emmanuele Ciancaglini/Ciancaphoto Studio/Getty Images

Paul Merson urges Arsenal to seal a transfer for Fiorentina striker Dusan Vlahovic as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is ‘finished’, via his Daily Star column.

The Gunners icon feels there is no way back for Aubameyang at the Emirates Stadium after Mikel Arteta stripped the Gabon star of the captaincy. He doubts the 32-year-old returning to north London after the Africa Cup of Nations, too.

Aubameyang is now in Cameroon for AFCON, but the Mirror report Newcastle United have opened talks over a loan-to-buy transfer. The Toon are weighing up the forward to aid their survival bid, and may offer £20m in the summer.

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Arteta omitted Aubameyang from his last six matchday squads before the £350k-a-week ace left for AFCON duty. The Daily Mail also note the Gunners have informed European clubs of his potential availability this month.

Arsenal also want to replace Aubameyang with Fiorentina star Dusan Vlahovic, as Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah are out of contract in June. The Athletic note they are even the best-placed club for a January deal.

Arsenal can be title-contends with Vlahovic transfer to replace Aubameyang

Arsenal are ready to offer Fiorentina the biggest sum and Vlahovic the best wage to seal a January transfer. But the Serbian would rather wait until the summer before deciding his future.

Per Gazzetta dello Sport, the Gunners have offered €70m (£58m) for the 21-year-old. He has scored 18 goals in 21 games so far this season, including 16 in just 19 Serie A outings. No player has more in the Italian top-flight this term.

Photo by Ettore Griffoni/LiveMedia/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Merson urges Arsenal not to yield in their transfer pursuit of Vlahovic to see the Fiorentina striker replace Aubameyang. Even if they have to wait until the summer, he is adamant the Serbia international is who Arteta needs.

“Aubameyang is finished at Arsenal,” he wrote. “He won’t be coming back from the Africa Cup of Nations. They should be breaking the bank to get Dusan Vlahovic in from Fiorentina in the summer because he would make them title contenders.

“I’ve heard he’s not interested in Arsenal right now, and I can understand that. But he might change his mind if they finish in the top-four and offer him a lorryload of money. Arsenal would be able to play him every week because Aubameyang will be gone.

“Alexandre Lacazette will probably be gone, and so will Eddie Nketiah. They will need a goalscorer, and Vlahovic scores goals. He’s also still young, so he should get better and you’re not wasting money paying a 29-year-old on the way down.”

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