Fiorentina owner Rocco Commisso has confirmed Dusan Vlahovic has turned down a contract offer that would have made him the highest-paid player in the history of the club.
Vlahovic enjoyed a terrific 2020/21 season in Florence, registering 21 goals in Serie A and also chipping in with a pair of assists. The centre forward has started the current campaign strongly too, scoring six times in eight games.
During the summer he was linked with a whole host of clubs, including Tottenham, Atletico Madrid and Arsenal. Despite this, Fiorentina have always made clear their desire to keep the Serbian at the club, and they have been trying to tie him down to a long-term deal in recent months.
However, I Viola have finally admitted defeat, with Commisso penning a letter to the club's fans confirming that Vlahovic would likely be departing in the near future.
"When I arrived in Florence, I promised the fans that I would be up front with them and that I would never make promises that I couldn’t keep," it began.
"I would therefore like to update the Fiorentina fans on an issue that has been much talked and spoken about in recent months – the question of Dusan Vlahovic’s contract. As you know, Fiorentina made a very significant offer to the player. Our proposal would have made him the highest paid player in the history of the club.
"We also improved our offer on a number of occasions in order to accommodate the requests of both Dusan and his entourage. However, despite our efforts, those offers have not been accepted.
"During my time in Florence over the past few weeks, I have personally endeavoured to find a solution that would make both the player and the club happy, but I am disappointed to say that our efforts and attempts have not been rewarded.
"At this point, all that we can do is acknowledge the wishes of the player and his entourage and quickly identify feasible, appropriate solutions as we proceed with this exciting new season.
"In any case, Dusan Vlahovic has a contract linking him to Fiorentina for the next 21 months. We have no doubt that the player will – as he always has – do his bit to help the team achieve its objectives, showing the same level of professionalism he has shown since he arrived in Florence, with the utmost respect from our fans, his team-mates, the coach and the club as a whole."
News of Vlahovic rejecting the offer will have those clubs interested in him scrambling for pole position in the race for his signature. A move in January cannot be ruled out as Fiorentina looks to maximise profit on a player they signed for next to nothing back in 2018.