Saturday, January 22, 2022

Piatek makes big Vlahovic statement as Fiorentina deny interest in Real Madrid star

SoccerNews in La Liga 8 Jan 2022

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Krzysztof Piatek touched down at Fiorentina to face questions about in-demand striker Dusan Vlahovic, as the club distanced themselves from links to Real Madrid midfielder Isco.

PIatek, who has joined on loan from Hertha Berlin for the rest of the season with an option to buy, returns to Serie A after previous spells at Genoa and Milan.

The 26-year-old has a solid track record in the Italian top flight, and his arrival has inevitably added to speculation that Vlahovic may not be with Fiorentina for much longer.

Vlahovic’s record of 35 goals in 46 games in 2021 has drawn the attention of many of Europe’s elite teams, and he has also been linked to Newcastle United.

It has been reported in Italy that Fiorentina consider Piatek as a player to strengthen their squad, rather than as a replacement for 21-year-old Vlahovic.

Polish frontman Piatek is relishing the chance to play alongside the young Serbian when the chance arises, saying on Saturday: “Vlahovic is an excellent striker, he has scored many goals.

“I think I also showed my worth with Genoa and Milan. I think we can also play together when necessary. In any case, I’m at the coach’s disposal, even starting from the bench.”

Fiorentina sit sixth in Serie A heading into Sunday’s trip to Torino, with coach Vincenzo Italiano hoping Piatek can rediscover the form that saw him score 30 goals in the 2018-19 season.

He began that campaign at Genoa before heading to Milan in mid-season, typically marking his goals with finger pistol celebrations.

“I’m ready to be a gunslinger. I want to show that my guns are ready to shoot at the Franchi. I’m really very happy to be here.”

Fiorentina have also signed forward Jonathan Ikone from Lille for a reported €15million fee this month, so they would be well stocked if Vlahovic did move on.

There seems little prospect of Isco joining the Viola ranks, however, with sporting director Daniele Prade distancing the club from reports linking them to the 29-year-old.

Isco has been at Madrid since 2013, making over 300 appearances for Los Blancos, but he has become a fringe member of Carlo Ancelotti’s squad, leading to rumours of a move.

Prade told a news conference: “In recent days there have been many rumours about Isco, but we don’t even know the agents, so we are not interested, even though we recognise his value.”

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