Monday 19 March 2018

Alexandre Lacazette 'in talks' as Arsenal move for Julian Draxler and Djibril Sidibe

Alexandre Lacazette
Alexandre Lacazette

Jack de Menezes

Arsenal are continuing their search for a new striker after opening talks with Lyon over a move for Alexandre Lacazette, according to reports.

The Gunners missed out on Jamie Vardy last month after the England striker elected to sign a new four-year contract with Premier League champions Leicester City, leaving manager Arsene Wenger to consider other options.

One of those appears to be Lacazette, and with Wenger currently out in France as part of his television commitments at Euro 2016, the Arsenal manager has been able to hold preliminary talks with Ligue 1 side Lyon.

The Daily Mail report that Arsenal have already made enquiries over Lacazette’s availability, but a conflict has arisen over a potential release clause in his contract. Lyon insist that no such clause exits, but widespread reports suggest that the 25-year-old would be available for £34m.

As a result, Lyon will hold out for a bid of £42m for Lacazette, which Arsenal are currently unwilling to offer, and the stalemate could lead to Wenger investigating other avenues.

One such route could be a return bid for Wolfsburg midfielder Julian Draxler. ESPN reported on Friday that Arsenal have made a £43m offer for Draxler, who featured in Germany’s run to the Euro 2016 semi-finals, with Wenger getting a first-hand look at the 22-year-old as he watched France knocked the World Cup holders out of the competition this week.

Draxler joined Wolfsburg last summer when he left Schalke after opting to join the Bundesliga side over Arsenal, but Wenger has maintained interest in the attacking midfielder – who has fulfilled a ‘false 9’ role at the European Championship for Germany this summer.

Arsenal are also looking beat Monaco to the signing of Lille defender Djibril Sidibe, with French newspaper L’Equipe reporting that talks have begun over a move to the Emirates. The 23-year-old has spent the last four years with Lille and just fell short of Didier Deschamps’ France squad for Euro 2016, and his versatility at playing on both flanks of the defence is said to have impressed Wenger.

It’s expected that Arsenal will move for a defensive reinforcement given that Kieran Gibbs is poised to leave the club this summer, and Arsenal could be forced into making a move after it emerged that Monaco have already had a bid accepted by Lille for the Frenchman.

Finally, hopes of signing soon-to-be Real Madrid striker Alvaro Morata have been boosted after it was reported that the Spain striker is beginning to go off a move to Chelsea. The Mirror claim that Chelsea’s lack of Champions League football this season has put Morata off a move to Stamford Bridge, with both Arsenal and Manchester United interested in the 23-year-old as well as Paris Saint-Germain.

Morata is ready to return to Real after the Champions League winners activated a buy-back clause in his contract worth £23.6m, but they are expected to sell on the forward this summer in order to generate a significant profit on his departure.

Independent News Service

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport