Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has doubled down on the club’s stance regarding Alexandre Lacazette and provided a promising update over Takehiro Tomiyasu.
Lacazette is out of contract at the end of the season. This has led to rumours of a return to Lyon, where he made 275 appearances between 2009 and 2017.
Under the Bosman ruling, Lacazette can speak to potential suitors ahead of a potential free transfer this summer.
On Monday, the French striker confirmed he is in talks over a move away from north London.
“I am in discussions with a lot of clubs. I am open,” Lacazette told French TV channel Canal+. “I have never cut contact with Lyon since I left. I try to return to the club once or twice a year to see the medical staff because we are really close.
“Lyon know that I am free, they have to come with a proposal.
“I want to play in Europe, it’s been a long time since I played in the Champions League, I’m missing it. It’s a little more complicated, nothing is impossible in life, but it’s a little more complicated.”
Mikel Arteta issues response to Lacazette comments
Lacazette is likely to feature when Arsenal travel to Chelsea in the Premier League on Wednesday.
Ahead of the London derby, Arteta was asked about the 30-year-old. He reaffirmed Arsenal’s wish to speak with the player once the season is over.
“His contract situation allows him to make a decision about his future,” the coach told a press conference (via football.london).
“We have expressed our intention is to speak in the summer. For the rest, I just want him fully focused on his duty which is to defend Arsenal in the best possible way.”
Lacazette Arsenal exit looms this summer
Alexandre Lacazette will leave Arsenal this summer and has a number of offers across Europe, including a possible return to Lyon
When asked if he was surprised by Lacazette’s recent comments, Arteta added: “He doesn’t need to tell me what he does.”
Fellow centre-forward Eddie Nketiah will also become a free agent on June 30, unless Arsenal can quickly organise an extension.
“With Eddie I said so many times how much I rate him and that we have big plans for his future,” Arteta said on the Englishman. “We have to accept that and it’s the reality.”
Attention then turned to the potential starting eleven for the clash against Chelsea. It seems right-back Takehiro Tomiyasu is on the verge of making his return from a calf problem.
“We will assess [Lacazette] today to see if he’s available for the team,” Arteta remarked. “Tomiyasu is very, very close. We will decide today after the training session [if he’ll make the squad].”