Throughout the last year (or perhaps even longer) Arsenal have been constantly linked with a move for Fiorentina’s Stevan Jovetic. A last minute January move didn’t materialise - but that wasn’t a surprise given that we already thought that Jovetic would move this summer – not in January. (Arsenal are also not exactly the club that would test that theory with an Earth-shattering offer).
Back in November Fiorentina’s sporting director Deniele Prade had this to say:
“He is our star player. There is no transfer, he stays until June. Then in the summer we will assess the situation. It is hard to find great players in January.”
Jump to the present – and last night the Mail ran an article suggesting that Arsenal are indeed looking to smash their transfer record with a £20m offer for the forward (news that was interestingly called an exclusive). The report contains no new real information about an offer but does try to provide a little content. It suggests that Wenger has now requested weekly scouting updates from his scouting team in regards to Jovetic – a similar request to what he made for Podolski, Giroud and Gervinho (insert joke here) – but there is no evidence to back up that information contained within the story. The article also fails to mention that other clubs could be interested in Jovetic - but does go on to suggest that Jovetic signing for Arsenal could well depend on Arsenal qualifying for the Champions League (personally I think it would make a move slightly more complicated – but certainly not impossible). Arsenal are apparently looking for Jovetic to “spearhead” the Arsenal attack next season – but the story doesn’t say (at this point) that Jovetic’s scoring record isn’t exactly spectacular (34 goals in 108 apps for Fiorentina) so I cant really see him “spearheading” our attack – but I could see him chipping in with some goals and providing more ammunition for others (he already has a number of assists this season and counts it as a large part of his game). The (Jovetic part of the report) concludes by suggesting that “Jovetic will be an integral piece in Wenger’s summer blueprint” – a suggestion which (given the potential fee) is a fairly obvious thing to say.
Jovetic himself had this to say in an interview with Sky Italia a few days ago:
“The transfer market? It has been talked about my contract and my future since the beginning of the season and I have to repeat myself: I just (think) about getting Fiorentina into Europe,”
“I’m focused to score as many goals as possible and to make lots of assists for team-mates.”
“In June we’ll see,”
“I think only to the good of the team, of Florence and of our fans, the rest doesn’t interest me.”
So – my conclusion? Whilst the article from the Mail hasn’t really provided any new information (it’s more like a “what should we put on the back page – we haven’t mentioned Jovetic in a while” kind of story) – the truth is that I do think we have a genuine interest in Jovetic. Given our season and the amount of pressure that Wenger is under – it is completely feasible to suggest that Wenger will act early in the transfer market again (as he did with Podolski, Gervinho and Giroud) to have the squad together for as long as possible before the season begins. Do however expect a large number of stories to “develop” around this over the next couple of weeks as England are playing Montengro and a journalist will inevitably ask the question about Arsenal (and in a not dissimilar fashion to what happened with Holtby) create more stories out of it.
There is a saying that there is no smoke without fire – and in this case – I think (and hope) that is true.