Juventus transfer chief responds to Arsenal’s renewed interest in long-term striker target

Arsenal and Mikel Arteta are on the lookout for a new striker in January (Picture: Getty)

Juventus has issued a strong hands-off warning to Arsenal amid their renewed interest in one of their long-term targets.

The Gunners have been short of goals this season, with their latest title challenge underpinned by their defence and, in particular, the burgeoning partnership between Gabriel Magalhaes and William Saliba.

Arteta’s side have, however, sacrificed much of the attacking flair that characterised last season’s unlikely surge to the top of the table.

Brazil international’s Gabriel Martinelli and Gabriel Jesus have struggled to match last season’s numbers, while although Eddie Nketiah has managed five goals, three of those came in a 5-0 thrashing of Sheffield United.

The 24-yer-old is said to be attracting interest from Crystal Palace but he will only be sold this month if Arsenal can find a replacement and secure a significant fee for the Hale End Academy Graduate.

Arsenal are likely to be priced out of the race for Ivan Toney, who Brentford value at £100million, while Victor Osihmen, the Napoli striker wanted by Chelsea, signed a new contract last week with a £130million release clause.

The Gunners are said to have turned their attention to Dusan Vlahovic, who they made a move for two years ago.

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Dusan Vlahovic has scored six goals for Juventus this season (Picture: Getty)

At the time, Vlahovic was only interested in signing for a Champions League club and wanted to remain in Italy where he has set Serie A alight with his goalscoring exploits for Fiorentina.

The Serbia international has largely flattered to deceive during his time in Turin following his £62m transfer and has scored just six goals so far this season.

His physicality and strength would, however, add a different dimension to Arsenal’s forward line but Juventus insists the 23-year-old is not for sale.

When asked about Arsenal’s interest in Vlahovic, Juve director CristianoGiuntoli said: ‘Bid from Arsenal for Dusan Vlahovic?

‘We don’t know anything about that story, there’s nothing. Vlahovic is not for sale.’

Arsenal surrendered top spot in the Premier League over the festive period following consecutive defeats against West Ham and Fulham and Arteta acknowledged improvement is required if they are to turn results around.

‘We need to improve,’ said Arteta following the New Year’s Eve defeat at Craven Cottage.

‘We want to win games and in order to do that we have to improve with players, so that after 20 league games we have the chance to be the best in the league with these players. They are really good and we’re going to continue to go with them.’

MORE : David Seaman defends struggling Arsenal star and names the real problem for Mikel Arteta

MORE : Arsenal’s stance on Wolves star revealed amid January transfer rumours

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