Arsenal exit looking likely as club’s transfer chief confirms ‘ambitious’ raid being planned

Arsenal trio Alexandre Lacazette, Gabriel Martinelli and Nicolas Pepe 2020

A European club’s head of recruitment has confirmed their plans to snatch Alexandre Lacazette from Arsenal this summer.

The striker’s terms expire on June 30 and are unlikely to be renewed. He is free to sort out a pre-contract agreement with a club on the continent under the Bosman ruling.

Lacazette has performed well for the Gunners since Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s disciplinary debacle.

He has registered two goals and three assists during six Premier League matches since December 11. That form helped Mikel Arteta’s side to win four league games on the bounce.

Lacazette is also a member of Arteta’s captaincy group, alongside midfielder Granit Xhaka.

Despite this, the 30-year-old could still leave north London as part of Arsenal’s attacking overhaul.

Aubameyang has already signed for Barcelona, while Ivorian winger Nicolas Pepe is attracting interest from AC Milan.

Alexandre Lacazette could secure reunion

And Lacazette is in line to join them as former club Lyon are plotting a reunion.

The Ligue 1 club’s head of recruitment, Bruno Cheyrou, is hoping to pull off an ‘ambitious’ move.

He said (via Sport Witness): “I’m not telling you that we’ll manage to bring back Lacazette, but we need to try. Without selling dreams to anyone, we will try to be as ambitious as possible in the players we will want to recruit.

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“I had the chance to follow Lyon’s European campaign for beIN Sports three or four years ago, and [Corentin] Tolisso and Lacazette were largely above everyone. And if Lacazette could return with experience acquired in England… Who would be against Lacazette’s return?”

Lacazette left Lyon in July 2017 as Arsenal paid a then club-record £46.5million to acquire his services. He has bagged 70 goals in 192 outings to date and helped the Gunners to win the 2020 FA Cup.

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Paul Merson tells Arsenal to cut ties

Former Arsenal star Paul Merson has already urged the club to allow Lacazette to move on.

“Now, if Alexandre Lacazette goes and gets 10 goals before the end of the season, they can’t get lazy and just give him a new deal worth £250,000 a week, thinking it might be his season next season,” Merson wrote in his Sky Sports column.

“For me, Lacazette has had his time at Arsenal. Whatever he does between now and the end of the season, he’s had his chance at the Emirates Stadium.”

A Premier League switch could be in store for the attacker as Aston Villa are ready to rival Lyon for his signature.

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