Arsenal launch €50m bid for Lyon striker Alexandre Lacazette

Offer likely to be accepted by Lyon and French international expected to sign

Alexandre Lacazette: Lyon striker could be on his way to Arsenal. Photograph: Getty

Alexandre Lacazette: Lyon striker could be on his way to Arsenal. Photograph: Getty

 

Arsenal are hopeful of securing highly-rated France striker Alexandre Lacazette after lodging a club record bid worth €50 million, a fee likely to prove acceptable to Lyon and spark a flurry of knock-on movement in the transfer market.

A number of teams had registered an interest in Lacazette, who has 11 caps and is contracted to Lyon until 2019 having graduated through their exceptional academy system.

The player had initially expressed a desire to join Atletico Madrid having deemed the time right to further his career by departing Ligue 1, but the Spanish club’s transfer ban, which stands until January 2018, has complicated their pursuit and allowed Arsenal to steal a march on the 26-year-old’s other suitors.

Lacazette is believed to be more open-minded now on the move with talks having taken place between officials from the London club and the Lyon president, Jean-Michel Aulas, this week and agreement is close over the fee.

The deal would trump the €48 million potentially due to Real Madrid for Mesut Özil, who signed in 2013. Further discussions 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 goals for Lyon in 203 top-flight appearances, is eager to make his mark at club level before the 2018 World Cup finals in Russia and is facing stiff competition within Didier Deschamps’ France squad from emerging talents such as Kylian Mbappe.

He had hoped to feature in the Champions League next term, a competition for which Arsenal have failed to qualify after finishing fifth. But that disappointment could be eased by evidence of the club’s renewed ambition in the market under Arsène Wenger this summer.

His arrival would have potential implications for his international team-mate Olivier Giroud, with Lyon and West Ham United expected to try to tempt the Frenchman away given he would have fallen down the pecking order at the Emirates stadium. Giroud is thought to favour remaining in London.

Lyon will step up their efforts to secure Bertrand Traore from Chelsea for around €18 million, the forward having impressed last season on loan at Ajax, and are also interested in the unsettled Manchester City centre-half Eliaquim Mangala.

Arsenal’s interest in Mbappe – 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 have signed the Schalke defender Sead Kolasinac, under freedom of contract, but the futures of Özil and Alexis Sanchez remain in some doubt.

Guardian Service

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