Dusan Vlahovic has been linked with a move to the Premier League
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The two players met after AC Milan's victory against Fiorentina in March, with Vlahovic asking for the Swedish striker's shirt.
"We lost 3-2, so he wasn’t very angry when I asked him for it," Vlahovic told DAZN via The Athletic. "Zlatan signed it, we had a photo taken and he wrote a tribute.
"He told me to keep doing what I’m doing and to never give up. I didn’t say much. It’s hard when you meet your idol."
Ibrahimovic's wise words will help Vlahovic when he leaves Fiorentina for a European heavyweight.
Recent reports suggest the Italian outfit are reluctant to letting him leave in January, although a summer move remains likely.
Vlahovic's current deal expires in June 2023 and Fiorentina's president Rocco Commisso has confirmed the player's desire to depart.
"Fiorentina made a very important offer to the player, a contract proposal that would have made him the highest paid player in the history of the club," revealed Commisso in October.
"Our offer had also been improved on several occasions over time, to meet the demands of both Dusan and his entourage, but despite our best efforts, the renewal proposal was not accepted.
"In these weeks that I have been here in Florence, I have personally tried to find a solution that could make the lad and the club happy.
"But, to my great regret, our every attempt and every effort has not been rewarded… Dusan Vlahovic has a contract that binds him to Fiorentina for the next 21 months.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic has offered his advice to Vlahovic
(Image: Getty Images)
"We are sure the player, as he has always shown, will give his contribution to help the team achieve its goals, demonstrating the professionalism that has distinguished him."
Man City are most in need of Vlahovic's services after failing to sign Tottenham striker Harry Kane last summer, leaving them without a traditional No9.
"Strikers are strikers," admitted manager Pep Guardiola in September. "We don’t have this weapon that teams like Chelsea, United or Tottenham or others have.
"We don’t have a player to score 25 league goals for himself so we have to do it as a team. This is what we will try this season. These are the most difficult players to take [buy]."