Shortlist emerges for new Lacazette suitor in deal that could help or hinder

Date published: Tuesday 19th October 2021 9:45 - Samuel Bannister

Alexandre Lacazette looking down

Alexandre Lacazette continues to be linked with a departure from Arsenal amid his return to the scoresheet, with a new suitor recently emerging for his signature.

Lacazette scored a last-gasp equaliser for Arsenal in a 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace on Monday. It was his first goal of the season in the Premier League, in which he has only made three substitute appearances this term.

There is a feeling that this will be the 30-year-old’s last season at the Emirates Stadium. His contract expires in 2022 and Arsenal are reluctant to hand him significant terms.

Likewise, Lacazette could be considering a future elsewhere after Arsenal missed out on European football for the current campaign.

Therefore, plenty of clubs have been looking at the chance to sign him in 2022 – either for a cut-price fee in January or for nothing at all in the summer.

Real Madrid were the latest club to be linked as part of a surprising swap deal for ex-Tottenham forward Gareth Bale.

But perhaps a more likely scenario for Lacazette would be one that was put forward in a recent report from Fichajes, who claimed Fiorentina are considering him.

Fiorentina have an exit-linked striker of their own in the shape of Dusan Vlahovic. The Serbia international is one of the most promising centre-forwards in the world and is likely to leave next year.

Vlahovic has been linked with Tottenham and Manchester City, among others, but seems likeliest to remain in Italy by signing for Juventus.

He will be a tough player for Fiorentina to replace after scoring 21 goals for them last season. Indeed, he already has six goals to his name this term.

According to Fichajes, Lacazette is one option that the Italians would consider when the time comes to let Vlahovic take the next step.

The report claims Arsenal could make the Frenchman available for €15m in January. If that is when Vlahovic leaves, such a figure would be more than affordable.

Fiorentina have made a bright start to the new season after some mediocre showings in recent years. They have won four and lost four of their opening eight Serie A games.

Dusan Vlahovic of ACF Fiorentina in action during the pre-season friendly football match between ACF Fiorentina and Polisportiva

Losing Vlahovic mid-season would be a major blow to their hopes of improving upon last year’s 13th-place finish. But they see Lacazette as someone who can pick up the baton.

The former Lyon frontman has hit double figures in each of his four full seasons at Arsenal. As such, he has already been on the agenda for a number of other Italian clubs.

Inter Milan had reportedly lined him up as a low-cost replacement for ex-teammate Alexis Sanchez. But Fiorentina are now seemingly ready to make their own case.

Fiorentina have Lacazette alternative with a twist

But Lacazette is not the only striker Fiorentina are looking at. The report adds that Luka Jovic of Real Madrid is also in contention.

Luka Jovic playing for Real Madrid

The former Eintracht Frankfurt hitman has struggled to make an impact in Madrid. He was loaned back to his former club last season to revive his career, but chances remain limited back with his parent club.

Jovic has subsequently been linked with a Madrid exit. In fact, Arsenal have supposedly identified him as the ideal successor to Lacazette.

But if Fiorentina do not take their number nine, the Gunners may have a rival for Jovic instead.

La Viola are seeking to take advantage of his frustrations at Madrid, who want to sell him to free up space for a galactico-style signing.

It may then make sense for Arsenal to take him and let Fiorentina have Lacazette. Such an operation would seemingly suit all parties.

But a negotiation involving three clubs in a chain of events is never straight forward.

In theory, it could also be the case that Lacazette and Jovic swap places, leaving Fiorentina empty handed.

For now, both players will have to keep waiting for their chances at their current clubs.

READ MOREArsenal transfer rethink ‘out of the question’ as stern Arteta message sent

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