Arsene Wenger's bid to sign Alexandre Lacazette boosted after green light from Lyon
Published 11/07/2015 | 11:59
Arsenal's hopes of signing Lyon striker Alexandre Lacazette has been boosted after his coach Hubert Fournier said he could leave this summer.
The leading scorer in Ligue 1 last season has been persistently linked with a move to the Emirates Stadium, with Liverpool also having registered an interest in the player earlier this year.
Lacazette effectively ruled out a move to Anfield when he said that he would only join a club playing in the Champions League next season and Arsene Wenger is reported to be a firm admirer of the 24-year-old.
Reports in France claim that Arsenal have had Lacazette watched by scouts several times and Fournier's comments are unlikely to dampen speculation surrounding a possible move to north London.
He said:"He is still under contract and the club is the decision maker. At no time have I felt a request to leave from him.
"Things can still change. It is early July. The sooner it is resolved, the better it will be for everyone."
Last month, Lacazette - whose current deal at Lyon expires in 2018 - suggested his future lay away from Lyon.
He said: "I have not made my decision. I will go on holiday, leave my agent to discuss things, for him to look after all that.
"I am not worried. As soon as I have decided, I want it all to happen quickly. Everything depends on the destination. It would have to be for a Champions League club."
Meanwhile, Arsenal are bracing themselves for a bid for Germany international Mesut Ozil from Juventus this summer.
According to reports in Italy, Ozil is being lined up by the Italian club as a replacement for Paul Pogba, who seems destined to join Barcelona after Manchester City dropped their interest in him.
The Italian media is suggesting Juve are preparing a bid of around £28.8million for the World Cup winner, who has been inconsistent since arriving at the Emirates two years ago.
Whether Juve would be able to persuade Arsenal to sell at that price, however, seems unlikely. The 26-year-old cost Arsenal £42.5million in 2013 and the club would be unlikely to be prepared to endure such a heavy loss on a player who should be in his prime.
Ozil also showed signs towards the end of last season that he could be returning to his best form, helping Wenger's side to a top-three finish in the Premier League and a second FA Cup in as many seasons.
It would also leave a significant hole in Arsenal's squad with less than a month to go until the start of the new campaign, and while Wenger has not ruled out more recruits before the end of the transfer window, he would surely be loath to see such a high-profile player depart.
What is clear is that Juventus are unlikely to end their interest without a fight. The Champions League runners-up - and Serie A champions - have had a difficult summer, losing Carlos Tevez to Boca Juniors as well as resigning themselves to Pogba's imminent departure. They are also set to lose Arturo Vidal, also to Barca.