Fiorentina forward Stevan Jovetic has revealed his admiration for Arsenal, leaving the door wide open for a move to North London this summer.
Arsenal have been tracking the Montenegin for several seasons now and, although a January transfer was mooted in the press, it looks as though the manager Arsene Wenger will bide his time until the summer to make his move.
Wenger’s admiration of the 23-year-old is well documented – however, it now appears that love is requited by the player who revealed to The Sun this week that he is both flattered and interested in a move to Arsenal.
"I've heard about Arsenal's interest. It's a big pleasure for me to be on the radar of such a big club. I am happy about that.”
So far so good – that is a ‘come and get me’ plea if ever I heard one. He continued,
"I've always had an affinity with Arsenal. It's a major club with a big tradition, one of the biggest in Europe.”
This, in my humble opinion is what the transfer will hinge upon – not whether or not Wenger, renowned for his frugality, will be prepared to offer Fiorentina close to their £26 million asking price for their star man.
The deal will depend on whether Arsenal qualify for Champions League football next season. Jovetic doesn’t directly state that but his assertion that the Gunners are one of the biggest in Europe hints at where he sees himself.
He wants, like any top player, to test himself against the best of his peers on the continent. If Arsenal can give any prospective signing this summer assurances that he will be challenging for the Champions League, the continent’s most prestigious and elite competition, they will obviously be in a much strong position to negotiate from.
Wenger lost out on other targets like Juan Mata and Eden Hazard because Arsenal could not offer them the wages that Chelsea could and did. Likewise, Wenger missed out on Cristiano Ronaldo by his own admission because he was 'close' (but not close enough) to matching Manchester United’s eventual transfer fee paid to Sporting.
Arsenal can afford the fee this time and they should be able to afford the wages if they offload some of their flops and crocked has beens. Money is not the issue this time. It’s al about opportunity.
Arsenal must snatch a top-four position in the Premier League this term if they want to be able to attract the ‘top top player’ Wenger has been hinting at since December.
Top players want to play in the top competition against the top teams. Arsenal now have 9 games left to do it. They are four points off Tottenham with a game in hand. If Arsenal want Stevan Jovetic, they can get him but they must be able to offer him Champions League football.
Arsenal fans is it that simple? Will Champions League qualification bring Jovetic to the club?
image: © carca