Juventus beat Arsenal to sign Dusan Vlahovic from Fiorentina

Juventus have signed Dusan Vlahovic in a €70 million ($80 million) transfer from Fiorentina on Friday, with the Turin club giving the Serbian star the No. 7 shirt vacated by Cristiano Ronaldo.

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"Today is really a special day for me and one of the most special and happy birthdays I've ever experienced so far,'' Vlahovic, who turned 22 on Friday.

Juventus presented him with a cake and candle in the team's changing room at Allianz Stadium. Juventus' tweet announcing the move included the hashtag "DV7" a take on Ronaldo's "CR7.'' Vlahovic wore No. 9 for Fiorentina.

Juventus said Vlahovic signed a deal through June 2026 and that the transfer fee also could include up to €10m ($11m) in bonuses.

Fiorentina have signed Brazilian striker Arthur Cabral from Swiss side FC Basel as a replacement.

Vlahovic has scored 20 goals in 24 matches in all competitions for Fiorentina this season and is joint top of the Serie A scoring charts, along with Lazio's Ciro Immobile.

In fifth place, Juventus had struggled to replace Ronaldo since his move to Manchester United in August. The Bianconeri have scored only 34 goals this season -- fewer than any of the top 10 teams in the Italian league, apart from Torino.

Vlahovic, a Serbia international, could be the perfect player to change that, having just matched Ronaldo's feat of scoring 33 league goals in a calendar year. He had been linked with a move to Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur but once reports emerged that he was close to joining Juventus, it led to an angry response from Fiorentina with racist and threatening banners erected outside the Artemio Franchi Stadium.

In October, Fiorentina released a statement which said Vlahovic would not be renewing his contract, which led to tension between the 21-year-old and the club's hardcore support.

Less than three weeks after the release of the statement, Vlahovic refused to take a penalty against Cagliari which had been awarded in front of the ultras section of the crowd. He could be seen mouthing: "I'm not feeling it" to a teammate.

Fiorentina have a long-standing rivalry which Juventus and history of letting their best players go the Bianconeri, which has often left to angry reactions.

In 1990, Roberto Baggio was transferred to Juve for $10.8 million which led to angry demonstrations in the street while more recently, in 2020, Federico Chiesa moved on loan with the obligation to complete the deal for €40m plus €10m in variables."