Arsene Wenger Steps Up Striker Hunt, Holds Talks With £100m Attacking Pair Lukaku, Lacazette
Arsene Wenger is desperate to bolster his attacking options this summer and fresh reports claim that the Arsenal manager has held talks with two top flight strikers, after missing out on Leicester City star Jamie Vardy.
Foottheball sources reveal that the Gunners coach has been in constant touch with Lyon hit-man Alexandre Lacazette and Belgium and Everton star Romelu Lukaku, who is also believed to be Wenger’s first choice this summer.
Sources confirm that the Gunners boss is keen on signing a new striker before his team heads to America on a pre-season tour by the end of this month – and with Belgium crashing out of Euro 2016, it is believed that it will help Wenger to speed up the negotiating process with Romelu Lukakau.
Wenger had been busy last week, negotiating with both the player’s representatives and their clubs for a possible summer switch to Emirates. It is understood that Arsenal want to keep the Lacazette option open, considering him as a back-up striker if Wenger fails to convince Lukakau to join the club this summer.
Big guns like PSG, Juventus and Manchester United had also showed interest in Lukakau on various occasions over the last few months. Earlier the Blues wanted to re-sign Romelu Lukaku back to Stamford Bridge this summer.
Chelsea had earlier sold Lukakau to Everton for a whooping amount of £28 million in 2014 before he spent a successful season on loan at Goodison Park.
Lukaku got better in his game and gradually evolved to become a first class striker since he joined the Toffees back in 2013. The 23-year old forward has since scored 61 goals in 127 appearances with 18 of them in the recently concluded Premier League season.
FootTheBall sources had earlier revealed that the Gunners were ready to offer a bid in the region of £31m for signing Lukakau this summer but doubts still persists whether Everton will agree to let go off his services for only a profit of £3m as they had paid £28m to Chelsea back in 2014 to bring him to Goodison Park.
Fresh reports claim that Everton could bring down the valuation of Lukaku from £65m and would encourage an offer in the region of £40m.
“Arsene is keen to get a new striker in as soon as possible, but won’t rush anything and overspend. Olivier Giroud is very much in his plans, but he wants to get someone in and was upset about losing out on Jamie Vardy,” said an Arsenal source.
Football Critics believe that the Belgian forward Romelu Lukaku is not only a poacher or a shadow striker but offers an all-round package to increase the depth of the squad. Arsene Wenger is well aware of the lack of fire power at the front and is keen on bringing the technically gifted striker to Emirates this summer despite having Oliver Giroud in the squad.
Neither Lukaku nor Lacazette has been successful in ruling the charts last season. Lukaku scored a brace in their Euro 2016 group stage 3-0 win over Republic of Ireland while Lacazette was not even included in the 23-member French squad by coach Didier Deschamps.
Wenger has been a long-time admirer of Lacazette, but he is the Gunners second option with a potential £38m cost to the club.