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Arsenal Suffer Setback In Striker Chase

Emirates Stadium club will have to pay almost £40million to capture transfer target.

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Arsenal have suffered a setback in their pursuit of striker Stevan Jovetic after Fiorentina opened talks over increasing the release clause figure in his contract.

Manager Arsene Wenger has earmarked Jovetic, branded the new Robin Van Persie, as one of his priority targets in the summer and had expected to pay around £25milion for the Montenegro international.

That figure is the release clause in the contract of the 23-year-old, who Fiorentina paid just £8million to sign from Partizan in 2008, but according to Tuttosport the Serie A side have begun discussions to increase that figure to €45million. The price is expected to end Wenger’s interest in the striker, who has scored 10 times in 21 appearances for his country.

Wenger has never paid more than £15million for a player, that being when he splashed out to bring midfielder Andrei Arshavin to the club from Zenit St Petersburg in 2009.

Arsenal are now likely to put their efforts into securing the signature of Spanish international David Villa from Barcelona in the summer, having failed with a £17million bid during the January transfer window.

Wenger is expected to return with another offer for the Nou Camp star, who is understood to be a likely departure in the summer.

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