Arsenal are getting aggressive in their attempts to offload some of their top earners – with one striker in particular ready to be dismissed.
A huge rebuild is about to take place at the Emirates Stadium after Arsenal missed out on European football. To fund the signings Mikel Arteta wants, the club will also have to make some sales. That could include some high-profile players being shown the door.
Getting rid of unwanted players has been a problem for Arsenal in recent years. They have sometimes had to release players ahead of schedule just to get them off the books. Hence, they will be keen to avoid similar situations when their attention needs to be on signings.
One player in a difficult situation is Alexandre Lacazette. Despite being their top scorer last season with 17 goals, he may have kicked his last ball for the club. His contract expires in 2022, meaning Arsenal must sell this summer if he does not renew.
After seeing how Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s form dropped off after his big-money contract extension last summer, they may have some reservations about offering significant terms to 30-year-old Lacazette.
Therefore, they are now “desperately” trying to offload the Frenchman this summer, according to one transfer expert.
“Arsenal are desperately, desperately, and as we said aggressively, marketing some of their higher-paid players in order to put money back into the budget with regards to how the club moves forward,” Ian McGarry told the Transfer Window Podcast (as transcribed by Sports Mole).
“Alexandre Lacazette is one of the players they are desperate to sell. In doing so they would get a transfer fee; they don’t mind if the fee was obviously less than what they paid for the player.
Arsenal must sell to buy
“Because his contract is so expensive, they would happily accept a lower fee in order to get him off the wage bill, and in doing so make room for younger players who Mikel Arteta has identified as the future of Arsenal, rather than the present or the past. So Arsenal [are] very much in a position where they need to sell before they can buy.”
Arsenal paid up to €60m to sign Lacazette from Lyon back in 2017. It is not clear what fee they are aiming to receive this summer, but they cannot command huge amounts.
In total, he has scored 65 goals from 170 games for Arsenal, but it appears he might not be adding to those tallies.
Back in May, Atletico Madrid had reportedly revived their interest in the centre-forward. Whether they make an offer, though, remains to be seen. What is clear, though, is that Arsenal are hoping someone will.