Arsenal's supposed transfer deal for Stevan Jovetic is in doubt, after Fiorentina denied they were in talks with the Gunners. The Florence club are also holding out for £30 million, a figure Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is reluctant to pay.
Failure to land Jovetic, his presumptive top target, would be a major blow to Wenger. It would be a poor start to a critical summer that is supposed to herald a shift in Arsenal's sending policy.
News that Wenger is put off by the asking price, likely won't please sections of Arsenal's supporters. They have gotten used to frugal spending habits from the Frenchman.
Many see his hesitance to spend big as the main reason Arsenal have failed to lift a trophy in eight years. None of that will matter to Fiorentina, who are determined to receive £30 million for Jovetic, according to reports in both The Daily Mail and The Daily Mirror.
Arsenal are seemingly so reluctant to meet that price, that rumors of previous talks are in doubt. A report from Football-Italia.net, quotes La Viola Sporting director Daniele Prade denying the two clubs have even discussed a deal.
In many other ways, Jovetic seems like a perfect fit for Wenger's squad. At 23, he is young, but with a credible track record at the top level, having spent nearly five years in Serie A.
He is at an age where he can be developed and take the step from rising talent, to established, marquee star. The Montenegro international is creative, quick and technically assured, exactly the kind of fluid forward Wenger favors to lead his attack.
Hints at protracted wrangling over fees is not the best way for the Arsenal chief to begin a vital summer revamp. Wenger is said to be armed with up to £70 million to help bridge the gap between the Gunners and those currently winning the major trophies.
The good will generated from securing a 16th-straight top-four finish is limited. The euphoria of beating Tottenham Hotspur to the lucrative fourth place is already fading.
The reality of an eighth season without silverware is still there, and the focus now shifts to how Wenger will strengthen. Fiorentina are asking a lot, but Jovetic is an ideal signing for Arsenal.
Meeting his price would be a signal of intent, not only to Arsenal's competitors, but also to a restless fan base.