Report: Arsenal face strong competition from Italy for talented midfielder Vlasic

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Arsenal have been linked with Hadjuk Split youngster Nikola Vlasic.

According to a report in La Gazzetta, Inter Milan and Arsenal are currently leading the race to sign Hadjuk Split’s highly-rated youngster Nikola Vlasic.

The 18-year-old has already established himself as a first-team regular for Hadjuk, playing in over 50 matches since last season and drawing comparisons with Real Madrid ace Luka Modric.

Predominantly a central midfielder, Vlasic is versatile and can also operate in wide areas.

According to the report in La Gazzetta, the Gunners are big admirers of the player as they seek to buy Europe’s best talent in order to supplement their first-team squad in the coming years.

However, Serie A giants Inter are said to be the frontrunners for his signature ahead of the January transfer window, and Hadjuk’s sporting director has confirmed the Nerazzurri’s interest.

"Inter have been following the player for some time, but so are a lot of others because he is a player capable of playing at a high level,” sporting director Goran Vucevic was quoted as saying.

“From our point of view, there is absolutely no hurry to sell him. We would like him to stay and grow with us for another year but if we were to get a big offer then we would have to consider it.”

Why Arsenal must consider making a move:

If there is one area in which Arsenal need to strengthen for the future, that central midfield role is arguably it, as Arsene Wenger has few alternatives at present for Santi Cazorla.

The former Malaga man still has time on his side but a potential long-term injury could put the North Londoners in a tricky spot as Jack Wilshere continues to battle with fitness issues.

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