Tuesday 21 November 2017

Why Arsenal's deal for Alexandre Lacazette could hasten Alexis Sanchez's exit

Alexandre Lacazette opens talks with Arsenal
Alexandre Lacazette opens talks with Arsenal
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Arsenal are closing in on the club record signing of striker Alexandre Lacazette, with a £44m deal believed to have been agreed with Lyon for the France marksman.

Lacazette has been a target of Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger for the last couple of years, with the Gunners failing in attempts to complete the signing last summer.

Now he looks set to make the switch to north London, after Arsenal were given permission to open talks with the 26-year-old who scored 76 goals in Ligue 1 over the last three seasons.

The transfer fee under discussion would break the £42.4m record Arsenal agreed to pay to sign Mesut Ozil from Real Madrid in the summer of 2014, with the Gunners seeing off competition from a host of clubs across Europe for Lacaeztte.

Liverpool and Manchester United were linked with moves for the forward who was ready to sign for Atletico Madrid if they had succeeded in lifting their transfer ban.

Yet the news of a big arrival for Arsenal may well be tempered with the reality that this signing could hasten the departure of Chilean forward Alexis Sanchez to Bayern Munich.

Lacazette is expected to leap to the top of the Arsenal wage bill after his record breaking move, with Arsenal under pressure to trim down their wage bill in a bid to comply with new Premier League rules that state clubs cannot inflate their wage bills by more than £7m-per-year.

Arsenal may already be preparing to sanction Sanchez's departure to Bayern Munich once his commitments with Chile at the Confederations Cup in Russia conclude.

What seems clear is that Arsenal are prepared to spend big this summer, even if Sanchez and possibly Ozil are sold to make way for a stream of fresh arrivals.

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