Wednesday 23 August 2017

Arsenal step up bid for £49m Lacazette

Lacazette, who has scored at the rate of one in every two games in domestic football in France, can play right across the front three. Photo credit: Getty Images
Lacazette, who has scored at the rate of one in every two games in domestic football in France, can play right across the front three. Photo credit: Getty Images

Sam Wallace

Arsenal have held further talks with Lyon over striker Alexandre Lacazette, who would be a club-record £49m signing, plus additional payments, should he decide to come to the Emirates despite the absence of Champions League football next season.

The 26-year-old is now Arsenal's most realistic target despite their interest in Monaco's Kylian Mbappe.

Lacazette is still behind Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud when it comes to selection for the France team.

However, the versatility of the Lyon man makes him a potential replacement for Alexis Sanchez, who seems certain to leave the Gunners.

Lacazette (pictured), who has scored at the rate of one in every two games in domestic football in France, can play right across the front three.

He was due to move to Atletico Madrid before their transfer embargo was upheld and has since had to reassess his options.

It would be the first in a series of moves that Wenger hopes will give him a new-look team for his 20th full season at Arsenal.

Sanchez and Mesut Ozil are yet to resolve their futures, while Giroud, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Jack Wilshere, Kieran Gibbs and Wojciech Szczesny could also leave.

Giroud is not one who Wenger wants to let go but he accepts that the French striker wants to play more, having spent a lot of time on the bench last season.

Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas is in a position to demand that Arsenal pay a club-record fee given their stated ambition to make top signings and the interest in Lacazette from Europe.

Arsenal and Chelsea are to donate their club match fee from the upcoming Community Shield clash to the Grenfell Tower support fund.

Fans going to Wembley will each have the opportunity to contribute £5 to the fund.

Premier League clubs have agreed to make a collective £250,000 donation.

Meanwhile, Monaco midfielder Fabinho has said that he would find a move to Manchester United "very tempting".

The 23-year-old scored 11 goals in 50 matches in all competitions last season as his side won the Ligue 1 title.

United have so far added Swedish defender Victor Lindelof to their squad as they attempt to improve on last year's disappointing sixth place in the Premier League.

Fabinho joined Monaco in 2013 on loan from Portuguese side Rio Ave and made his move permanent in 2015, when he also won the first of four caps for Brazil.

Tottenham's Eric Dier and Nemanja Matic at Chelsea have been linked with a move to Old Trafford - as has Real Madrid striker Alvaro Morata.

United have strengthened their backroom staff by recruiting Juventus scouting manager Javier Ribalta, who was at the Italian club with Morata.

Ribalta worked on deals for Dani Alves and Sami Khedira while at Juventus, who have secured six successive Serie A titles. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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