Saturday 21 April 2018

Arsene Wenger 'to meet Alexandre Lacazette's agent' after joining race for Lyon striker

Alexandre Lacazette
Alexandre Lacazette

Jack de Menezes

Arsenal have switched targets to Lyon striker Alexandre Lacazette after missing out on Jamie Vardy, with the Leicester striker snubbing a summer move to sign a four-year contract extension with Leicester City.

Reports suggest that Arsenal have entered the race for Lacazette after manager Arsene Wenger organised to meet with the France international’s agent, David Venditelli, later this week. The Arsenal boss is currently in France to work with Bein Sport as part of their Euro 2016 coverage, but he remains active in the transfer market after failing to sign England forward Vardy despite activating his previous release clause with a £20m offer.

Lacazette missed out on inclusion in Didier Deschamps’s France squad for Euro 2016 on home soil, despite scoring 23 goals in 43 appearances for Lyon last season, with Deschamps instead choosing to include Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud, Bayern Munich’s Kingsley Coman, Manchester United’s Anthony Martial and Andre-Pierre Giognac of Mexican side Tigres.

According to The Mirror, Wenger will meet with Venditelli next week, but the Gunners face competition from fellow Premier League side West Ham as well as Champions League finalists Atletico Madrid.

Lyon are unwilling to sell Lacazette for anything less than £45m, and with the 25-year-old having three years remaining on his current contract, the Ligue 1 side will not be forced to sell unless they are happy with the deal offered. Lyon are already poised for a large financial boost after they reportedly agreed to sell defender Samuel Umtiti to Barcelona in a £21.5m deal that could be announced in the coming weeks.

Venditelli has not ruled out the chance of Lacazette remaining at Lyon for another season, having spoken earlier in the season to stress that his future will not be resolved until August when talks are held with the Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas.

"For the moment we're thinking that Alex will still be a Lyon player next season," Venditelli told French newspaper L'Equipe back in March.

"In any case, we'll discuss it in good time with Jean-Michel Aulas.

"We both have enough experience to know what we should do in the interest of Alex and the club."

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