Alexandre Lacazette is more likely to leave Arsenal than Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and is “days away” from leaving Emirates Stadium, one transfer expert has revealed.
The French striker looks to be on his way out at Emirates Stadium after four years at the club. Only one year remains on Lacazette’s contract and the club will be keen not to invest too heavily in a new deal for him. Instead, they are seeking a buyer for the 30-year-old, even though he was their top scorer with 17 goals last season.
That task, though, has been complicated so far. A recent report revealed they were struggling to find any willing taker for Lacazette due to his high wages, despite “aggressively” marketing him around Europe.
However, amid the risk of losing him for free in 2022, it’s claimed the Gunners have dramatically slashed his exit price.
That has led to speculation of a renewed approach from Atletico Madrid. They were in the running to sign him last summer, though no breakthrough materialised.
They signed Luis Suarez last summer to very good effect and added Moussa Dembele on loan in January with less success.
Dembele will not be bought outright, while Suarez is only under contract for another season, by the end of which he will be 35. Therefore, Atleti are considering adding another striker to their ranks.
Barcelona are also reportedly lurking around Lacazette. While they can’t afford to sign him outright, reports in Spain are indicating a possible swap deal could be on the cards. To that end, the Gunners are reportedly keen on three of the Catalans’ stars.
He’s not the only Gunners star Barcelona are tracking though with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang also of interest to them.
However, Fabrizio Romano insists he’s more likely to stay and wants to rediscover his best form for Arsenal.
Indeed, the transfer expert insists Lacazette is the one Arsenal are trying more actively to sell.
“I would keep an eye out on Lacazette more than Aubameyang, talking about transfers,” he said on Twitch.
“Because there is a chance Lacazette will be leaving in the next days, and so let’s see what happens.”
Arsenal and Barcelona discussing sensational swap deal
Arsenal have identified the three Barcelona players, goalkeeper Neto, centre-back Clement Lenglet and attacking midfielder Phillipe Coutinho, in exchange for their strike pair Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette.
And the departure of Lacazette is likely to see Folarin Balogun handed a more prominent role. He started against Brentford in Friday’s opener and while struggled, appears to have Mikel Arteta’s trust.
Speaking in July, Arteta said of Balogun: “It is just a small step, but now the bigger step is trying to become a regular in the first team. That is a small step compared to the next step they have to take.
“That is the first thing they have to realise, the hard work is not done yet. The hard work is going to start right now, and the expectations start right now. And if they have this mentality they have the potential, we believe in them and they will have the opportunities.”
Martin Odegaard deal close for Arsenal
Lacazette’s possible exit will go some way to paying for a deal to bring Martin Odegaard back to Arsenal on a permanent basis.
Having impressed on loan last season, Arteta has made no secret of his desire to bring the Norwegian back.
He returned to the Spanish capital this summer, but appears to be not in the thoughts of manager Carlo Ancelotti.
Indeed, Spanish newspaper duo AS and Marca have both reported on Tuesday that Odegaard is now close to joining Arsenal.
The former source says that Arsenal have entered ‘a very advanced stage’ over their talks for the transfer.
What’s more, the willingness for all parties to see the midfielder move back to London has ‘accelerated’ the talks.
In a third signal, Odegaard has not trained with his Madrid team-mates, instead choosing to work alone. He does not want to risk an injury which would put the deal in ruin.
Marca, meanwhile, claims that Arsenal and Los Blancos have ‘practically closed’ an agreement.