Fiorentina forward Stevan Jovetic has welcomed the interest in him from Arsenal.
Jovetic, 23, has repeatedly been linked to the Gunners in recent months and is seen as one of manager Arsene Wenger’s leading transfer targets this summer. Having scored 12 goals in Serie A this season, Jovetic again showed his ability as he helped lead Montenegro’s second-half comeback to claim a draw against England in their World Cup qualifier in Podgorica on Tuesday.
Fiorentina have said that they have no intention of selling the player, but Jovetic has revealed that he is pleased to be linked with the Gunners.
“I’ve heard about Arsenal’s interest,” he said, according to the Sun. “It’s a big pleasure for me to be on the radar of such a big club. I am happy about that.
“I’ve always had an affinity with Arsenal. It’s a major club with a big tradition, one of the biggest in Europe."
Continue Reading Below
However, Jovetic went onto explain that he is currently focused on attempting to lead Fiorentina into the Champions League for next season. The Viola currently sit three points off a qualifying top-three place in Serie A.
“Maybe one day I will play there but I have a contract with Fiorentina and battling for a Champions League place in Serie A is the only thing I’m thinking about now,” he added.
There have been less encouraging words from another reported Arsenal forward target. Barcelona’s Alexis Sanchez has been linked with the Gunners as well as Italian giants Juventus and Inter Milan after a poor season at Camp Nou.
However, despite struggling to live up to his €40 million price tag, having scored just two league goals this season, the 24-year-old Chile international still believes he is a valuable player at Barcelona.
"I am very happy at Barcelona," Sanchez said, according to ESPN. "I know the player I am, I know I am a great player, I know I can win games for you. I feel important with the national team and also with Barcelona." It also appears unlikely that former Arsenal forward Carlos Vela will be returning to the Emirates this summer. Vela joined the Gunners in 2005 but failed to establish himself in the first team as he went on several loan spell before joining Real Sociedad on a permanent deal last summer.
His impressive form in La Liga -- 12 goals and eight assists in 27 appearances -- has led to speculation that Arsenal may try to lure him back.
But the 24-year-old Mexican has said that he has no interest in rejoining the Gunners.
"Arsenal are a big team who gave me the opportunity to play in Europe,” he explained, according to Sky Sports. “I will always remember that, but I didn't have the opportunities that I felt I deserved.
"I am here [at Real Sociedad] and would like to stay here."
Arsenal, though, may be in luck should they reignite their interest in Montpellier creative midfielder Younes Belhanda. The Morocco international has been repeatedly cited as a target for Wenger in the past year.
The Ligue 1 side’s president Louis Nicollin has now revealed that Belhanda, 23, and teammate Henri Bedimo are available.
"Bedimo and Belhanda can leave,” he said, reports Sky Sports. “I am waiting for different offers.”