Olympique Lyonnais striker Alexandre Lacazette looked set to snub Arsenal interest for a move to Atletico Madrid this summer, having all but agreed terms on a deal worth around £85m. But the French international could now be back on the Gunners’ radar with the Spanish La Liga side suffering a transfer ban.
As reported in the Evening Standard, Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas revealed the deal for Lacazette to arrive at the Vicente Calderon could now be off. “It’s good and bad news. It was, in financial terms, a very significant operation. Of course (the transfer ban) has changed everything. We had given Alex the green light to go to Atletico, the club of his heart,” he said.
“I’ve not had his agent on the phone, nor him, as I’ve been in Cardiff, but I had said to Alexandre not to get too far ahead of himself, as there can always be disappointments in football. It brings into question the commitments made on both sides. We had made progress on possible solutions. We might have one extra striker next season.”
Arsenal are 2/1 to sign Lacazette from Lyon this summer as a result of such revelations, but Atleti are sure to fight the ban to continue pursuing the coveted striker. The 26-year-old scored 28 goals in 30 Ligue 1 appearances this season and has openly stated his desire to leave to play at the top level in Europe.
Arsenal were one of many clubs interested but his £85m asking price may have put them off making a bid. With Atletico stalling on the deal and the player keen to leave Lyon, the Gunners could well test his and the club’s resolve with a lower bid.