• Premier League

Arsenal interest in Jovetic 'non-existent'

ESPN staff
May 22, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »

Fiorentina sporting director Daniel Prade has revealed Arsenal's reported interest in Montenegro forward Stevan Jovetic is "non-existent", despite the fact the player is expected to leave after the club's failure to reach the Champions League.

Jovetic is expected to move this summer and has long been a target of Arsenal. The 23-year-old has been linked with a €28 million move to the Emirates, but Prade poured cold water on the transfer.

"The way I see it, this interest is non-existent," he said. "I have not had any contact with them at all. I don't think Arsene Wenger is interested in the boy."

Prade also played down talk Jovetic could be on his way to Juventus, telling Rai Sport: "I have not been authorised in any way by my club to speak to Juventus. Jovetic's situation will be resolved directly by the president. We will see what happens. We would be happy if he stayed with us."

Fiorentina president Andrea Della Valle also refused to add to the Juventus speculation, although he did confess that Jovetic will be playing for a new club by the end of the summer.

"Jovetic must understand his future, make the right choice," he was quoted as telling the Italian media. "The important thing is that, if he does leave, we compensate for his sale by bringing in suitable replacements."

Asked about a potential move to Juventus, Della Valle said: "He could, as well as Manchester, Liverpool... The chances of him staying are not good. He has behaved properly this season. I asked him to help us get back into Europe and he helped."

Juventus director Beppe Marotta has signalled his club's interest in signing Jovetic as he prepares to speak to Real Madrid about Gonzalo Higuain. Having led Juve to two consecutive Serie A titles, coach Antonio Conte has indicated that he wants to strengthen the squad to try to close the gap on Europe's elite clubs, and Marotta had already suggested that Higuain and Carlos Tevez were under consideration.

"We want to reinforce the squad, to give Conte a team that is even more competitive," Marotta told Rai Sport. "We are evaluating several attacking options."

Sky Sport Italia reported that Marotta was due to travel to Spain to speak to Madrid about Higuain on Wednesday, while Fiorentina star Jovetic is also on the club's radar, and Marotta said on Tuesday that they were "both great strikers".

He added: "Higuain is certainly very interesting. We're looking to sign players who want to come to Juventus and are willing to leave their club."

He was less certain about Jovetic, given his club's rivalry with Fiorentina, but left the door open to a bid. "We hear a lot about Jovetic playing in black and white, but he remains a Fiorentina player and we respect that. I must admit, though, that he is a great player," he said.

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