Arsenal have made five signings this summer, spending the most among the Premier League clubs. Now the club are looking to make some player sales to recoup some of the money spent. After Joe Willock, the next name closest to the exit door at Arsenal is Alexandre Lacazette.
Many reports indicated the exit of both Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette this summer. However, according to fresh reports, it seems that the French striker is edging closer to a transfer and only “days away” from leaving the club. His future could be settled before the third gameweek of the Premier League.
The Frenchman has just a year left on his current contract with the club. He joined the North London outfit in the summer of 2017 for almost £47m. He has scored 50 goals in 128 Premier League appearances, scoring 14 goals in 26 starts in his first season at the club.
But, for the last two seasons, he has come under the radar as his goals have dried up with critics pouring hard on him. The striker’s position within the squad has also suffered under Mikel Arteta. His minutes on the field have dried up and has not been a regular starter under the Spaniard.
The Gunners are sceptical about his future at the club and are reluctant to give the 30-year-old forward a contract extension. Arsenal are hoping to find a suitable buyer for Alexandre Lacazette in this transfer window to avoid letting him go for free next summer. The North London outfit have even significantly reduced their asking price for the French striker.
Atletico Madrid are one of the clubs that seem interested in the player’s services. There were rumours of their interest last summer as well, but then they got Luis Suarez for free from rivals Barcelona, who helped them win the La Liga title.
The Rojiblancos also signed Moussa Dembele on loan in January but decided not to make the transfer permanent this summer after an uninspiring loan spell. Also, Suarez will be 35 when his contract with Atletico ends next summer. Hence, the Spanish champions might be interested in signing a new forward.
Barcelona are also rumoured to be interested in Lacazette, but they cannot sign him directly due to financial constraints. If reports are to be believed, the Catalan giants are looking at a swap deal to make the transfer happen. Reports also indicate that Barcelona are keeping tabs on Aubameyang and eyeing a swap deal involving Coutinho.
???? Fabrizio Romano has said to keep an eye on Alexandre Lacazette as he could leave Arsenal in the coming days. pic.twitter.com/y7YUuALXOx
— TheAFCnewsroom (@TheAFCnewsroom) August 16, 2021
Meanwhile, transfer expert Fabrizio Romano (via Express) claimed that Lacazette is closer to an exit than Aubameyang. He explained that the Gabonese forward wants to stay, regain his form and help Arteta’s team. On his Twitch channel, he said:
“I would keep an eye out on Lacazette more than Aubameyang, talking about transfers,
“Because there is a chance Lacazette will be leaving in the next days, and so let’s see what happens.”
Lacazette missed both the opening two Premier League games, while Aubameyang was brought on as a substitute against Chelsea but was absent against Brentford. Arsenal later revealed that both players tested positive for COVID-19, alongside Runarsson and Willian, but the Gabonese forward recovered in time to play against the Blues. Their absence sent the rumour mills on overdrive, speculating their future at the Emirates.
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With Alexandre Lacazette set for an exit, Folarin Balogun could very well feature in several games for Arsenal this season. Although the 20-year-old found it tough against Brentford, he has the manager’s trust. Arteta rates him highly and thinks he can challenge for a spot in the first team. Speaking in July, Mikel Arteta said:
“It is just a small step, but now the bigger step is trying to become a regular in the first team. That is a small step compared to the next step they have to take.
“That is the first thing they have to realise, the hard work is not done yet. The hard work is going to start right now, and the expectations start right now. And if they have this mentality they have the potential, we believe in them and they will have the opportunities.”
Stay tuned to know more about Arsenal transfers.