Journalist Dean Jones was quick to dismiss any links between Newcastle United and Dusan Vlahovic on The Done Deal Show.
The Fiorentina striker has told his club that he will not be signing a new contract, and thus, a whole load of clubs have been linked with him, which is no surprise given his record from last season and how he’s carried that form into this campaign, having netted 10 goals in 13 Serie A appearances.
Given Newcastle are now the wealthiest club in the Premier League, it’s not surprising to see them linked with star-studded names, even despite their precarious position in the league.
According to The Sun, the Magpies are lining up a £50 million move for Vlahovic, although it’s not clear or even guaranteed that the striker would want to join the club, especially if they cannot offer him the chance of European football.
Will Newcastle survive this season?
Jones is not confident that Vlahovic will end up on Tyneside.
“There are definite comparisons with [Erling] Haaland, and there will be as those two continue their careers. He’s [Vlahovic] not going to Newcastle or something like that, this guy’s way too good for that.
“He should be in the conversation for is he going to Man City, is he going to one of those level [of] clubs, because that’s how good he is.”
TIF Thoughts on Vlahovic…
Jones’ comments aren’t exactly surprising given Newcastle’s current stature, but considering the club’s ambitions under the new ownership, missing out on the chance to secure a long-term investment in such a prolific and available hitman as Vlahovic is bound to be a bitter blow to fulfilling those objectives.
Having to retreat over such a massive outlay will hardly be the intended plan at St. James’ Park, and amid reports the new owners are now targeting loan moves in the new year, it would appear that either some reports are inaccurate – or their Plan B is drastically different to a supposed Plan A with Vlahovic.
The Serbian striker is set to become a free agent in 2023, so the sooner that Fiorentina can sell him the better in terms of their finances, but given that he’s still only 21 years old, a lot of clubs may be willing to wait a bit longer and snap him up on a pre-contract in just over 12 months.
Even with Newcastle’s newfound riches, it would be a stunning story for Vlahovic to reject clubs such as Tottenham Hotspur in favour of a move to Tyneside, with a club that is in the middle of a relegation battle and has not been fighting it out at the right end of the table for several years now.
But with that being the case for Newcastle, missing out on such a talent could yet be the difference between staying up and going down – no matter how unlikely a swoop appears to be.