Alexandre Lacazette has become a transfer opportunity in 2022 for two clubs deemed to be more ambitious than Arsenal at present, according to a report.
A club-record signing in 2017, Lacazette is in the final year of his contract at the Emirates Stadium. Arsenal tried to sell him in the summer but their efforts were to no avail. Now, they risk losing their €53m investment for nothing. Although he hasn’t always met expectations on the pitch, it would be a major financial blow.
After Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang suffered a decline in form after committing to a lucrative contract in a similar situation last year, Arsenal may be wary about handing a new deal to Lacazette. The Frenchman will be 31 by the time his contract expires, just like Aubameyang was last year.
And it seems Lacazette has his own reservations about extending his stay with Arsenal. According to Calciomercato.it, he wants to play for a higher level club. Despite being a traditional force, the Gunners missed out on qualification for any of the three European tournaments last season.
With that in mind, everything is pointing to a separation between the two parties. In the process, Lacazette could end up in Italy.
The report claims Juventus are looking at him as a low-cost option to reinforce their attack, potentially in January. A deal at that time would give Arsenal a small windfall that may be better than nothing.
Juventus, of course, lost Cristiano Ronaldo over the summer. But even while he was still there, they wanted a more reliable number nine. Moise Kean has returned to the club but it seems they need an out-and-out centre-forward as well.
Therefore, after a difficult start to the Serie A season, they may even opt to act in January. They could negotiate a pre-contract agreement to sign him in the summer for free at that stage, but they feel the need to take him now, so could pay to sign him immediately when the winter window opens.
However, they are not the only Italian admirers of Lacazette. The report adds that AC Milan could consider a move for him, but only next summer when he would potentially become a free agent.
By then, Zlatan Ibrahimovic will be in his forties, so they will have to see how he is doing physically. He still seems to be in great shape, but Lacazette could provide younger competition, even if he is nearer the end of his own career than the start too.
Arteta comments on Lacazette
Yet to start a game this season – although he has come on once each in the Premier League and EFL Cup, scoring in the latter – Lacazette’s long-term future is in serious doubt.
But manager Mikel Arteta denied he is building for a future without the former Lyon striker at his press conference on Thursday.
“No he’s fully involved,” Arteta said.
“He will be back to the form that he can achieve. I’m sure that he will be instrumental in our success.”
For how long that will be, though, remains to be seen.