Alexandre Lacazette has emerged as a target for an Italian club looking to offload one of the Arsenal forward’s former teammates, reports suggest.
Lacazette is in the final year of his contract with Arsenal, who have been reluctant to offer him significant terms. To be 31 by the time his current deal expires, offering him an extension would be a risk. Arsenal found themselves in a similar situation with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang last year and their decision to keep him hasn’t exactly paid off.
Therefore, the signs are pointing towards an exit for the Frenchman in 2022. Arsenal may even try to sell him in January, which would be their last chance of getting a fee for him.
Still a reasonably reliable goalscorer, Lacazette should have several suitors. There have been claims of him staying in the Premier League with someone like West Ham, although he may venture abroad instead.
According to Gazzetta Dello Sport, he has been eyed as a potential reinforcement for Inter Milan, who are looking for another attacker.
Inter lost Romelu Lukaku to Chelsea in the summer, bringing in Edin Dzeko and Joaquin Correa to help fill the void. Dzeko has started particularly well, but further options may be required in the event of additional departures.
Specifically, former Arsenal forward Alexis Sanchez is being tipped to leave in January. His career has gone off course since he left the Gunners for Manchester United and then moved on to Inter.
It would now be beneficial for Inter to remove his wages from the books and replace him with someone more useful. They believe Lacazette could be a low-cost option in terms of a transfer fee.
Aubameyang himself could also be considered, but Lacazette’s contract situation makes him more gettable.
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The report reminds he is yet to receive a new contract offer from Arsenal despite Mikel Arteta suggesting he would. Therefore, an opportunity is presenting itself to Inter.
It thus seems Lacazette’s time with Arsenal is coming to an end. He has been with the club since 2017, when he joined from Lyon. Since then, he has provided 67 goals from 174 games.
So far this season – which appears increasingly likely to be his last in the Arsenal shirt – he has scored two goals from four appearances. However, he is yet to get off the mark in the Premier League this term.
Inter are looking for someone seeking to relaunch their career. While they would prefer to take someone on loan, Lacazette’s low cost may make them think about a permanent transfer.
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Lacazette is yet to start a league match this season while his exit links grow more prominent.
But Arsenal’s results in his absence have been mixed. They enjoyed a positive last month or so after a difficult start.
Given their varied form, one pundit has questioned why Arteta has not used Lacazette more.
“You can’t leave a player like that out,” Frank McAvennie told Football Insider.
“It makes no sense to me. Aubameyang is a cracking player and I get he has to start. But Lacazette is an excellent striker. He knows where the goal is and he can’t be happy about missing out.
“Maybe this is just because there is less rotation this year. There’s no Europe so there are less games.
“Yeah, this makes no sense to me. I would ask to leave if I was him, especially if things don’t change.”