By Noel Whelan

16th Nov, 2021 | 8:01am

Arsenal board 'sinful' if they don't hand Arteta £65m to beat Tottenham to Vlahovic signing - pundit

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta must “demand” transfer funds from the club in January to secure a top-four finish this term, according to Noel Whelan.

The former Leeds striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, claimed a deal for 21-year-old hitman Dusan Vlahovic could be the difference between Champions League and Europa League football next season.

According to Corriere dello Sport (November 15th), Tottenham, Arsenal and Manchester City are locked in a battle for Fiorentina striker Vlahovic’s signature ahead of the January window.

On November 11th, journalist Fabrizio Romano reported that it would take a fee of up to £65million to prise the young striker away in the winter window.

Vlahovic has scored 10 goals in 13 games across all competitions this season. His contract in Florence expires in 2023.

Whelan insisted the “top-class” youngster would give Arsenal more quality going forward.

Subscribe to Football Insider TV now

“There’s no doubt that Arteta is in a really good position right now,” he told Football Insider‘s Ewan Kingsbury.

“They’re sitting pretty in the table now after their start to the season, the players they have brought in are thriving – and they have a nice balance to the side.

“It’d be sinful for the board not to give them the money for a big signing like Vlahovic in January. He’d give them more quality going forward – that would ultimately win them football matches.

“They have a great chance to go out and get back into those Champions League places this season, as the fans have demanded. That is what you expect of Arsenal.

“Arteta has put himself in a fantastic position to go to the board and demand a top-class signing like Vlahovic.

“He could be the difference between Champions League and Europa League this season.”

In other news, Arsenal favourite suggests Ainsley Maitland-Niles renewal “definite” after “huge” reveal.