Arsenal must pay £57m to sign Alexandre Lacazette from Lyon as Arsene Wenger made to wait on Kylian Mbappe
Arsenal are “ready to pay” for Alexandre Lacazette, according to Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas, but he insists he could choose to sell to Atletico Madrid instead.
The Gunners are interested in Lacazette as an alternative to Monaco teenager Kylian Mbappe, who is weighing up a move to the Emirates against offers from Real Madrid and Liverpool.
Lacazette, who scored 37 times for Lyon last season, has been a long-term Arsenal target but was set to join Atletico Madrid this summer, in a move that would have seen Manchester United sign Antoine Griezmann.
However, the upholding of Atletico’s transfer ban put the brakes on that move, leaving Griezmann opting to stay and Lacazette seeking another move.
Wenger believes he has now convinced Lacazette to join him in north London, but Atleti want to return to sign the Frenchman when their ban ends on January 1st, something Aulas is keen to use to drive up the price of his star asset.
"I do not intend to sell Alexandre quickly, because there is always the option of Atletico Madrid to signing him on January 1, 2018,” Aulas told L'Equipe. “I also listen to what Alexandre says.
“I saw Arsene during the match between France and England. I was with Gerard Houllier [who advises the Lyon president] and I understand he [Wenger] told Gerard that there could be an interest from Arsenal.
“But it is premature to say that things will be done. We cannot let a player of that quality go without his replacement. We are talking about €50m [£43.7m] to €60m [£52.5m].
“Arsenal are ready to pay for Lacazette. Everyone knows Atletico were going to pay €53m [£46.4m] plus €12m [£10.5m] in add-ons. That’s €65m [£56.9m].
“The Arsenal executives are well informed, they will be in those waters.
“The price for a player who scores, every year, between 25 and 30 goals, sometimes more than 30, is at least that.
“But frankly, I have not thought about Arsenal for the moment, because I thought that Alexandre would stay because of the failure, initially, with Atletico Madrid.”
(© Independent News Service)
Independent News Service