Premier League transfer news: Man City eye inspired Erling Haaland alternative

Fiorentina forward and Man City target Dusan Vlahovic in action against Inter Milan

Corriere dello Sport has revealed that Manchester City are keen on signing Fiorentina striker Dusan Vlahovic this summer.

What’s the latest transfer news involving Vlahovic?

Fiorentina want to tie the striker down to a new contract, but are first focusing on ensuring that they remain in Serie A. La Viola are currently five points above the relegation zone with six games remaining.

In the meantime, Vlahovic has attracted interest from across Europe, with Real Madrid and Manchester City reportedly interested in the youngster.

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How much is Vlahovic worth and when does his contract expire?

It is understood that Fiorentina believe that they could receive around €50m (£43.3m) for the 21-year-old, if they opt to let him go in the next transfer window. The club have a habit of selling their best, young stars having allowed Federico Chiesa and Federico Bernardeschi to join Juventus in recent years.

Vlahovic still has two years left on his contract, suggesting that it is not imperative that Fiorentina sell him this summer.

What are Vlahovic’s stats this season?

Vlahovic has arguably been the one positive in an underwhelming campaign for Fiorentina in 2020/21.

As per WhoScored, he has netted 16 goals in 31 Serie A appearances. None of his teammates have managed more than five, and he has also outscored Manchester City’s top marksman Ilkay Gundogan (12) this year.

His ability in the air is also a standout feature of his game. The 6 foot 3 attacker has won 2.8 aerial duels per game in the league – more than any City player. This indicates that he would be a major threat from crosses and set-pieces if he joined Pep Guardiola’s team.

What’s been said about Vlahovic?

Speaking earlier this month on his BoboTV channel on Twitch, as quoted by Tuttomercatoweb, former Italy striker Christian Vieri heaped praise on Vlahovic, and outlined the player’s potential.

Vieri said of Vlahovic: “I think that after Haaland and Mbappé he is one of the strongest in Europe, a centre forward like that. Do you remember the goal against Inter? He has quality, technique. He is Serbian and they are all technically good, they are called the Brazilians of the East.”

An inspired Haaland alternative?

City have been linked with Haaland in recent months, and he will reportedly cost them at least €150m (£128m) to sign.

Considering the price-tag and the competition for Haaland’s signature, with Manchester United also keen, the Premier League leaders need to consider realistic alternatives, and in Vlahovic, they have someone who looks to be within a far more comfortable price range.

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Indeed, there are actually some similarities between Haaland and Vlahovic. Both are left-footed, of a similar age and powerful, standing well over 6 feet tall. They also know where the back of the net is. Haaland has scored 23 Bundesliga goals this season, seven more than Vlahovic, but it does need to be taken into account that the Serbian has been playing in a struggling Fiorentina side, feeding off scraps at times.

It is understandable that City fans may be dreaming of landing Haaland, and if they miss out on him it would be a disappointment. However, in Vlahovic, they would have a player who could turn out to be just as good as his Norwegian counterpart but potentially cost as much as £84.7m less. 

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