Fiorentina director Joe Barone has hit out at striker Dusan Vlahovic over his recent suggestions that he could sign a new contract at the club, insisting such claims are blatant lies.

The in-demand striker recently spoke to Serbian media to stress his love for Fiorentina and insist that he could still sign a contract extension – his current deal is set to expire in the summer of 2023.

It was a shift in tone from the previous messages from Fiorentina, who had acknowledged that talks with Vlahovic had broken down and they now expect to field offers for his services. Tottenham, Arsenal, Manchester City and Juventus have all been heavily linked.

While Vlahovic’s latest comments could be interpreted as a sign of hope over an extension, Barone was having none of it and took aim at the 21-year-old for what he felt were clear lies.

“We did not authorise the interview,” Barone said (via Sky Sport Italia). “There have not been any new developments compared to what his representative told us last summer.

“[His agent] totally disrespected us. We had come to terms on the wages [of a new contract] but he halted the talks because he wanted higher commissions.

“The president met [Vlahovic] in November and his demands had doubled at that point. I had a summit with [his agent] as well, and there were no steps forward. He even suggested staying here until the end of his contract and leaving for free.

“I think that Vlahovic should not mislead Fiorentina fans. We are here to tell the truth and the situation as become very complex. For sure, the agent wants the player to leave on a free transfer.”

As far as Fiorentina are concerned, they are already prepared to offload Vlahovic at the end of the season, having accepted that they will not be able to keep him any longer.

La Viola are looking at possible replacements, with Manchester United target Julian Alvarez of River Plate on a shortlist which also includes Penarol’s Augustin Alvarez, Genk’s Paul Onuachu and Sassuolo starlet Gianluca Scamacca.

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