There has been plenty of speculation when it comes to the future of Alexadre Lacazette lately. There were reports claiming he was unhappy and that his agent had been sounding out potential suitors, and more recently some insinuations about an alleged clause in his contract which would allow him to break away if the team fails to qualify for the Champions League at the end of this season.
The prospect of Arsenal’s involvement in UEFA’s elite competition next term is not looking good after the Olympiacos shock and its consequence – an unexpected exit from the Europa League in the round of 32. The road through the Premier League is now the only possibility. The Gunners are eight points off top four, and though they have a game in hand, that game is away to defending champions Manchester City. But if City’s two year ban from Europe is upheld, the fifth place will also lead into the Champions League, and that is only five points away.
But all that aside, Lacazette has come out and denied any knowledge of any clause that would allow him to leave in the summer under any conditions, and added that he sees no reason to leave anyway.
Nonetheless, The Guardian are reporting that the club are preparing for any contingency, and their target to potentially replace the French striker is Raul Jimenez of Wolverhampton Wanderers.
The Mexican has been on superb form this season, with 32 goal involvements (22 goals, 10 assists) in 42 games, and has established himself as an important part of the system put in place at the Molineux by Nuno Espirito Santo. There can be no doubt that the 28-year-old is an excellent striker, one that would probably have a role to play at any team in the league, but if Lacazette indeed has no intention of leaving, then there isn’t much point in talking about Jimenez at all.
Right now, it’s important for the team to focus on finishing the season as strongly as possible.