Lyon striker and long-time Arsenal target Alexandre Lacazette could be finally set for a switch to the Emirates this summer after the Frenchman revealed he was keen on a move away from the Parc Olympique Lyonnais.
“I think that this summer will be the time where I will need a change of scenery and discover something else, still with the idea of advancing and progressing in terms of football and as a person,” Lacazette told Canal Football Club.
“I am going to continue to work, in the hope that good opportunities will come this summer.”
The Gunners, who had a bid of £29million for the Ligue 1 star turned down last summer, have been admirers of the frontman for some time, but French newspaper L’Equipe are claiming that Lacazette’s contract contains a £60million release clause that Arsene Wenger would have to trigger if he wanted to bring the player to London.
The France international signed a new deal earlier this season, and if the price tag is that high it could well put off a famously spendthrifty Wenger. The fee would smash the club’s current record transfer, currently Mesut Ozil’s £38.2million move from Real Madrid in 2013.
However, with 18 league goals in 18 appearances so far this season and looking set to comfortably beat last year’s tally of 21 league goals, the 25-year old won’t be short of suitors should Arsenal deem the transfer too expensive. Atletico Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain and fellow Premier League side West Ham are all reportedly keeping tabs on the player.
If the north London club was to make the ten-times capped French international their marquee signing this summer, it could first require a big name departure in the form of Alexis Sanchez or Mesut Ozil. Both players have been rumoured to be potentially leaving this summer, with Sanchez cutting a frustrated figure at times this season, while Ozil has asked for reassurances regarding Wenger’s future before signing a new deal.
At the start of this season his former teammate Samuel Umtiti moved to Barcelona, and Lacazette has admitted that a switch to the Camp Nou would be a ‘dream’.
“Barcelona to join Umtiti? It is a very big club. They have extraterrestrials up front. It would be a dream.”
If Arsenal are to lure a player of Lacazette’s talent it will likely not only require a major financial outlay, but a guarantee of Champions League football — something that at this stage of the season is far from a certainty.