Alexandre Lacazette Completes Arsenal Medical Before £52.7m Move From Lyon
Arsenal were keen to complete their club record £52m deal for Alexandre Lacazette in time for him to join them on part of the summer tour to Australia and China but there is fresh uncertainty over the futures of both Olivier Giroud and Hector Bellerin.
Further talks are also expected this week over Alexis Sanchez – who has now completed the Confederations Cup with Chile – and remains the subject of strong interest from Manchester City.
Barcelona also still want Bellerin while Giroud of interest to Everton, as well as West Ham United and Marseille, and wants reassurances about his first-team future.
Of the three, Giroud appears most likely to leave following Lacazette’s arrival although Wenger does want to retain his option as a more physically imposing style of striker.
Bellerin has become one of Barcelona’s priorities this summer in a pursuit that is already becoming reminiscent of the Cesc Fabregas saga.
Like Fabregas, Bellerin began his career at Barcelona and the emotional pull of his home club is likely to be considerable although he is under contract to Arsenal until 2023.
An initial £45 million fee has been agreed with Lyon for Lacazette which that could potentially rise to £52 million. Lacazette is unlikely to be ready for the start of Arsenal’s pre-season tour in Australia – the team depart late Sunday and a first match is scheduled in Sydney a week on Thursday – but there is some hope that he could join the squad for part of the trip.
Arsenal still want another attacking signing, with Monaco’s Kylian Mbappe or Thomas Lemar the two priorities. Leicester City’s Riyad Mahrez is another option should Monaco resist Arsenal’s offers.
Mesut Ozil is planning to join Arsenal on their pre-season tour but there is longer term uncertainty about his future. He is also out of contract next year, with Arsenal currently unable to reach agreement with him and his advisors on an increased salary.
Ozil, though, remains less likely to leave than Sanchez and may simply be happy to entre the final year of his contract. That would indirectly increase the pressure on Arsenal to sell Sanchez rather than risk also losing him for nothing next season even if he wants to join another Premier league club.