Premier League • England

Arsenal playing risky game after ‘shelving contract talks’ with player amid Ligue 1 links

Arsenal trio Alexandre Lacazette, Takehiro Tomiyasu and Bukayo Saka

Arsenal are playing a risky game after Mikel Arteta confirmed they had shelved contract talks with a player who is wanted by Ligue 1 side Lyon.

The Gunners have a history of allowing expensive stars to leave for free – Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil are notable examples. And former club captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has now joined that list.

Arsenal terminated the striker’s contract, allowing him to sign for Barcelona a few days after January’s transfer deadline.

Aubameyang hit a hat-trick in his most recent La Liga appearance as Barca beat Valencia 4-1. After the match, his team-mate Sergio Busquets called the free transfer a ‘gift’.

This led to further questions of Arsenal’s transfer policy as they regularly seem to throw money away on big names.

And the Gunners are once again in the spotlight amid reports regarding out-of-contract goalscorer Alexandre Lacazette.

Lyon are hoping to take the attacker back to France, following his initial spell in Lyon’s first team between 2009 and 2017.

Mikel Arteta provides update on Arsenal forward

They can do so for free, as Lacazette’s Arsenal deal runs out on June 30. This means he can organise a pre-contract agreement with clubs on the continent.

Arsenal are aware of this, but according Arteta, they have shelved talks with Lacazette regardless. They will reopen the negotiations once the season finishes.

The north London outfit are focusing all of their attention on qualifying for next season’s Champions League. They are four points off the top four as things stand.

Arteta to be rewarded with new Arsenal contract

Arteta to be rewarded with new Arsenal contract

Arsenal are set to give Arteta a new contract this summer as rebuild continues

Arteta said (via the Evening Standard): “There is a chance [Lacazette signs a new deal], but we have decisions to make on three or four players in regards to the summer.

“Starting those conversations right now, I don’t think is the right way. We have spoken to all the players, what to expect, they freedom that they have because the contracts allow them to make any decisions, and with our position there.

“That’s what we are going to do. At the end of the season, we will sit down and decide what’s the best for all the parties.”

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Fabrizio Romano talks Bukayo Saka future

Arsenal ace Bukayo Saka is supposedly attracting attention from Liverpool and Manchester City, but Fabrizio Romano thinks the Englishman will stay at the Emirates.

Romano said on The Here We Go Podcast (via The Boot Room): “I wanted to say one thing about Bukayo Saka because it’s normal to have a lot of rumours on Saka. This boy is doing incredible. I think sometimes he’s underrated in the press, but he’s a special talent.

“The player loves Arsenal, and at the moment, he’s not planning for something different.

“Contract talks won’t take place now. It’s not in February, it’s not in March, they will discuss maybe end of the season. But Arsenal are, of course, happy with him, and he is happy with them. So I don’t see any problem.”

Saka’s record for the current campaign stands at eight goals and four assists in 28 outings.

READ MORE: Mikel Arteta ready to splash the cash on Argentina striker struggling for goals in 2022