Arsenal hope to secure the highly rated France striker Alexandre Lacazette from Lyon after lodging a club record bid worth 44 m
Arsenal are hopeful of securing the highly rated France striker Alexandre Lacazette after lodging a club record bid worth 44 m, a fee likely to prove acceptable to Lyon and trigger a flurry of knock-on motion in the transfer market.
A number of teams had registered those who are interested in Lacazette, who has 11 caps and is contracted to Lyon until 2019 after graduating through their exceptional academy system. The player had originally been expressed a desire to join Atltico Madrid, having deemed the time right to further his career by departing Ligue 1, but the Spanish clubs transfer ban, which stands until January 2018, has complicated their pursuing and allowed Arsenal to steal a march on the 26 -year-olds other suitors.
Lacazette is believed to be more open-minded now on the move after talks between officials from the London club and the Lyon president, Jean-Michel Aulas, the coming week, and agreement is close over the fee. The deal would trump the 42. 5m potentially due to Real Madrid for Mesut zil, who signed in 2013. Farther debates are planned for the start of next week with Lacazette, who is on holiday, expected to pursue the chance to play in the Premier League.
The striker, who has scored a century of league objectives for Lyon in 203 top-flight appearances, is eager to attain his mark at club level before the 2018 World Cup finals in Russia and is facing stiff competitor within Didier Deschamps France squad from emerging talents such as Kylian Mbapp.
Lacazette had hoped to feature in the Champions League next season, a competition for which Arsenal have failed to qualify after finishing fifth. But that disappointment could be eased by evidence of the clubs renewed aspiration in the market under Arsne Wenger this summer.
His arrival would have potential implications for his international team-mate Olivier Giroud and both Lyon and West Ham United are expected to try to seduce the Frenchman away devoted he would have fallen down the pecking order at the Emirates. Giroud is thought to favour remaining in London.
Lyon will step up their efforts to secure Bertrand Traor from Chelsea for around 16 m, the forward having impressed last season on loan at Ajax, and they are also interested in the unsettled Manchester City centre-half Eliaquim Mangala.
Arsenals interest in Mbapp heavily courted by Zinedine Zidane at Real Madrid and also clubs such as Liverpool, Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain is likely to be shelved if Lacazette is secured. The club has signed the Schalke defender Sead Kolasinac, under freedom of contract, but the futures of zil and Alexis Snchez remain in some doubt.
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