Arsenal’s Lacazette deal moves nearer as Lyon eye replacement

Date published: Tuesday 27th June 2017 3:57

 Jean-Michel Aulas has revealed Lyon are “getting closer” to signing Real Madrid striker Mariano Diaz.

Mariano has been linked to Liverpool, Tottenham, Atletico Madrid and Sevilla, but the Ligue 1 side are closing in on the 23-year-old Dominican Republic forward.

The Lyon chief did not reveal whether the club were chasing a permanent or a loan deal for the forward, who made 14 appearances for the La Liga champions last season.

Asked whether the deal was a loan or permanent signing, Aulas told L’Equipe: “It’s a transfer. We’re studying both solutions, but we’re looking more at a transfer.

“We have been following him for some time. We have heard good things from Karim [Benzema]. We also have good allies with the president Florentino Perez, who I know well, and the all-powerful coach [Zinedine Zidane], who has also told us good things.

“If we have the means to do it, it’s a priority for OL.”

Aulas has claimed Arsenal target Alexandre Lacazette will not be allowed to leave until the Ligue 1 club sign a replacement.

Lyon, who have confirmed the signing of Bertrand Traore from Chelsea for £8.8m, now look set to seal a move for Mariano, which could now indicate they are ready to allow Lacazette move to the Gunners.

Aulas this week warned Arsenal they will have to match Atletico Madrid’s £57million bid if they are to land Lacazette this summer.

The Lyon supermo has made it clear that Lyon are in no rush to offload the France forward, who almost joined Atletico before they were handed a transfer ban.

Aulas has admitted that he and general manager Gerard Houllier met Arsene Wenger during England’s 3-2 defeat to France in Paris earlier this month. And he suggested that Wenger had indicated he “could” be interested in the 25-year-old forward.

“It will have to be at least that [£57m],” Aulas told L’Equipe.

“Everyone knows that the offer of Atletico is €53m [£46.5m] plus €12M [£10.5m]. That’s €65m [£57m].

“As the leaders of Arsenal are well informed, they will be in those waters.”

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