The Times recently claimed that Newcastle see Italy as an ideal market to raid for world-class talent. The report named three players embroiled in current contract sagas as potential future targets.
Those players are Lazio keeper Thomas Strakosha and Inter Milan pair Marcelo Brozovic and Stefan de Vrij. Brozovic and Strakosha are both on deals that will expire in the summer while de Vrij is in a prolonged dispute to extend his Inter stay beyond 2023.
There has also been reports that Napoli’s Lorenzo Insigne is on the radar. The 30-year-old is out of contract in the summer and engaged in a bitter dispute with the club he’s been with since the age of 15.
The theme that runs through these targets is that they are world-class stars with uncertain futures at their current clubs. However, another theme is that they are very unlikely to join Newcastle in our current state.
This stark reality can also be transferred to Fiorentina’s Dusan Vlahovic, who has been touted as a potential target according to Alan Nixon in The Sun. The 21-year-old’s trajectory has seen him emerge as one of the most coveted striking talents in the world.
He has been tangentially linked in the past and Nixon claims Newcastle scouted him during Serbia’s monumental win at Portugal during the break. But his sudden rise in production will likely mean he is out of Newcastle’s reach at the moment.
The Partizan Academy product joined Fiorentina in the summer of 2018 as an 18-year-old. The striker broke into the first team in 2019-20, mainly as an impact substitute scoring 6 goals in his 30 league appearances.
It was at this juncture last season that his talents truly started to blossom. From December 2020 to the present, the 6’3″ Vlahovic has scored 30 goals in his 40 Serie A appearances. He has added 2 goals in 2 Cup appearances as well as 6 goals in his last 10 caps for Serbia.
His contract with Fiorentina runs out in 2023. However, they are now resigned to the fact that Vlahovic will not be signing a new deal to remain in Florence. They will likely cash in on their star striker in January or next summer.
Vlahovic was heavily linked as a potential Harry Kane replacement if Tottenham had caved in and sold the striker last summer. Manchester City are also admirers of the prolific Serb.
His price tag has been touted as high as £70m but Nixon claims it could be less than that. Newcastle could theoretically outbid any rivals but the glaring issue would be convincing Vlahovic to come to a struggling Newcastle enmeshed in a desperate fight for survival.