Alexandre Lacazette has edged nearer to his Arsenal exit after reaching a verbal agreement with a European giant upon talks recently ramping up, per a report.
The French striker, 30, is in the final year of his contract in north London. He has regularly featured under Mikel Arteta in the league this term. However, in an all too familiar tale for Lacazette, many of his appearances have come from the bench.
Nonetheless, the forward remains a high level performer on his day and will have no shortage of suitors prepared to roll the rice in the free agent market.
Indeed, Lacazette recently revealed he had turned his attention to what the future holds with his Gunners career coming to an end.
“Of course, my agents are starting to look to the right and to the left,” Lacazette told Telefoot, via the Metro.
“But not until January, I really want to focus myself on something.
“And then we will see what is on offer, if the challenges are interesting, if there are beautiful projects, how they are counting on me… so there are still many questions. I prefer to wait until January to position myself.”
Lacazette will be free to sign a pre-contract agreement with overseas clubs come January 1. And according to Caught Offside, it is Barcelona who are on course to win the race.
Citing the Spanish press, they claim talks between Xavi’s side and Lacazette’s camp recently ‘accelerated’.
The end result is a claim that a ‘verbal agreement’ has been struck that will see Lacazette move to Spain when his contract expires next summer.
Twin Barcelona lure driving Lacazette deal?
Whether Lacazette would become a regular starter at Barcelona is open to debate.
Xavi is known to be on the hunt for attacking reinforcements after Sergio Aguero’s diagnosis with a heart condition left them light up top. Furthermore, Ousmane Dembele was recently reported to have rejected his latest contract offer.
Lacazette could therefore become more of a regular in Spain, though Caught Offside express their doubts.
But in their view, Lacazette may be more willing to accept a squad role with Barca given they regularly challenge for trophies and are an ever-present in the Champions League. In contrast, Arsenal have not played in Europe’s elite competition since the 2016-17 season.
Barcelona’s struggles this season amid their financial woes have put both of those aforementioned notions in doubt. Nevertheless, few would be surprised to see Barcelona rebound under Xavi and achieve a top four finish come May.
And if they do, Lacazette could reap the reward and be playing Champions League football next season.
Juventus meeting puts Arsenal on Kulusevski track
Meanwhile, Arsenal’s path to signing Juventus winger Dejan Kulusevski has cleared after positive updates on two fronts were detailed.
Kulusevski operates primarily as a left-footed right winger. He had drawn links with north London pair Arsenal and Tottenham in recent months after struggling for starts in Turin. Indeed, Spurs’ links with Juventus through Fabio Paratici and Antonio Conte were believed to hold them in good stead.
However, according to the Mirror (citing Italian outlet Calciomercato), it is Arsenal who are leading the charge with a January move a distinct possibility.
They claim Kulusevski is ‘unhappy’ at his lack of starts under Max Allegri. For their part, Juventus have finally relented and are understood to have transfer listed the forward.
Juventus still retain hopes of signing Tottenham target Dusan Vlahovic from Fiorentina. Selling the £30m-rated Kulusevski will aid their cause on that front.
As such, the report reveals Arsenal recently met Juventus’ sporting director Federico Cherubini. The ‘potential transfer’ of Kulusevski was reportedly on the agenda with the Swede now deemed ‘for sale’.