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Mikel Arteta wants to sign world class players

Mikel Arteta insists Arsenal can still attract world’s best players amid Vlahovic rumours.

Arsenal have spent five seasons out of the Champions League, but  has no doubt his side can attract any player.

Mikel Arteta insists Arsenal still have the pulling power to attract the world’s biggest names, but refused to be drawn on speculation linking his side with Fiorentina striker Dusan Vlahovic.

The Gunners have been tipped to move for the in-demand Serbia international, who matched Cristiano Ronaldo’s 21st century record for the most Serie A goals in a single calendar year in 2021 with 33.

Vlahovic has also been touted as a target for Juventus, Manchester City and Manchester United, though Arsenal are said to be willing to spend big to land the 21-year-old, who has 18 months to run on his contract.

However, according to fresh reports on Wednesday, Vlahovic will only consider joining the north London club should they qualify for next season’s Champions League after a five-year absence.

Arsenal have not placed higher than fifth in the Premier League since then and have finished eighth in back-to-back campaigns, but Arteta does not believe the Gunners’ plight will put players off moving to Emirates Stadium.

Mikel Arteta wants to sign world class players

“Historically this club has always been targeting the best players in the world and they were always interested to come here,” he said at a news conference on Wednesday. “I can say that hasn’t changed.

“Every time I’ve spoken to a player they were so willing to come. That’s a big advantage for us.”

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Mikel Arteta wants to sign world class players

Vlahovic has 16 goals in 20 Serie A games for Fiorentina this season alone.

“I’m really sorry to disappoint you but you know I’m not going to be discussing any transfer rumours,” he said when asked about the latest on Vlahovic.

“What I really want this month is that we have as many players fit and healthy and we do as much as possible with these players. After that we have a strategy and we will do that when possible.”

Arsenal suffered a shock 1-0 loss to Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup third round on Sunday and will be looking to hit back when they take on Liverpool on Thursday in a rescheduled EFL Cup semi-final first leg.

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