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Arsenal target Vlahovic sent death threats from Fiorentina fans outside stadium

Fiorentina striker Dusan Vlahovic looks likely to join Juventus – rather than Arsenal or Tottenham – this January in a move that has prompted death threats from fans of the Viola

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Arteta gives update on Arsenal’s transfer plans ahead of Deadline Day

Furious Fiorentina fans have left threatening messages to Dusan Vlahovic outside the club’s stadium amid rumours the striker will join Juventus.

Arsenal had been linked with a move for the Serbian striker this month but it now appears the player has his heart set on a move to the Bianconeri.

Vlahovic has been a goalscoring sensation for Fiorentina but the club have talked up the possibility of a January exit due to the player’s contract expiring in 18 months.

Such have been Vlahovic’s goalscoring exploits at Fiorentina in the past two seasons, his transfer valuation has rocketed and his valuation has been reported to be as high as £67million.

The player may have been becoming an icon among the support base of Fiorentina but that has now been wiped up by the suggestion that he is preparing to join Juve.

Have Your Say! Which striker should Arsenal look to sign after missing out on Vlahovic? Tell us what you think here.

Fiorentina fans placed the messages outside the club’s Artemio Franchi stadium on Monday night

The two clubs share a direct rivalry in Italy that is not based on geography, identity or longstanding competitiveness but a history that has meant the Old Lady are viewed with animosity in Florence.

Players who opt to leave Fiorentina to join Juventus are labelled as ‘traitors’ by the club; such as local star Federico Bernardeschi who exited the Viola to join Juve.

A vulgar banner outside Fiorentina’s facilities at the time of the deal read: ‘A chi non piacerebbe sputarti in faccia… Bernardeschi gobbo di merda’ – ‘who would not want to spit on your face, you s****y hunchback’. (in Italy, a hunchback is a term with the connotation of being lucky)

Bernardeschi was the target of unsavour fan chants upon his return to Florence in a Serie A game with Juventus that February, where he netted a free-kick against his former club.

Giorgio Chiellini, Juan Cuadrado and Federicho Chiesa are other members of the current Juve squad who joined the club directly from Fiorentina – further fuelling the rivalry.

They now appear likely to be joined by Vlahovic, with Fiorentina fans already sending the striker a threatening message outside the club’s stadium on Monday amidst the reports.

Vlahovic was a priority transfer target for Arsenal but looks set to now stay in Italy

One banner read: ‘Il rispetto non si conquista a suon di gol. Vlahovic gobbo di mierda’ (‘respect is not won with goals, Vlahovic, you shitty hunchback!’)

An even more threatening message read: ‘Le tue guardie non ti salveranno la vita. Zingaro, per te è finite.’ (‘Your guards won’t save your life. Gypsy, it’s over for you.’)

While the transfer is not yet definitive, it appears that the bond between Vlahovic and a certain section of the Fiorentina support base has been irreparably broken.

Vlahovic is the latest player who looks set to controversially swap Fiorentina for Juventus

Such has been the scoring exploits of Vlahovic, he equalled Cristiano Ronaldo ’s Serie A goal record in a calendar year – netting 33 goals in the division in 2021.

Ronaldo set the Serie A goal record – the best calendar year return in the competition since 1960 in 2020, but it was instantly equalled by the Serbian.

Despite North London appearing to have been the likely destination for Vlahovic, his preferred destination has drawn the ire of the Fiorentina fanbase.

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