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Mikel Arteta reveals Arsenal’s ‘big advantage’ in Dusan Vlahovic race

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The Arsenal manager has reacted to rumours around Vlahovic’s lack of interest in playing for the Gunners.

Arsenal are among Dusan Vlahovic’s main suitors. Reports around the club’s interest in signing the Fiorentina star have been around for months. However, the north London outfit has made little progress in convincing the Serbia international.

In recent weeks, new reports have claimed there is a sporting reason behind Vlahovic’s lack of interest in playing for Arsenal. The player reportedly wants to play in the Champions League, seeing little prospect of playing European football at Arsenal.

However, Arteta believes playing with Arsenal’s jersey still gives top players enough motivation to join his side.

Asked whether he considers Vlahovic as a realistic target for Arsenal, the Spaniard responded: “I don’t know. Historically this club has always been targeting the best players in the world. And the best players in the world were always interested in coming here.

“And I can say that that situation hasn’t changed. So every time 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, and our capacity to get the attention of people to come and join our club is something that is a big advantage for us.”

Arsenal are reportedly keen to make a £70million bid for Vlahovic. However, Italian sources have claimed the player wants to remain in Serie A, potentially joining Inter or Juventus.

When asked about Arsenal’s plans for the January window, Arteta responded: “What I really want this month is that we have as many players as possible fit and healthy and we do the best and maximum that we can with those players.

“And after that we have a strategy of how we want to evolve and improve the team and whenever that is possible we are going to try to do it. But we all know that this market is extremely difficult.”

Arsenal will face Liverpool in the first leg of their Carabao Cup semifinal tie on Thursday. Three days later, the Gunner will face Tottenham in the north London derby.