Alexandre Lacazette is expected to make Arsenal reach deep down into their pocket and part ways with €65million if they are really interested in landing their man although club president, Jean-Michel Aulas calls the news “premature” speculation.
The striker who hit a career-best 28 Ligue 1 goals last season was also on the radar of Atletico Madrid but the upheld ban from the Court of Arbitration for Sports put a spanner in the works.
With reports suggesting Arsenal as the front-runners to land Lacazette, Aulas has said the Gunners must match a fee that Lyon agreed with Aleti for the France striker, .
“I do not intend to sell Alexandre quickly, because there is always the option of Atletico Madrid signing him on January 1 2018,” Aulas told L’Equipe. “I also listen to what Alexandre says.
“I saw [Arsenal manager] Arsene [Wenger] during the match between France and England. I was with [Lyon general manager] Gerard Houllier and I understand he told Gerard that there could be an interest from Arsenal.
“But it is premature to say that things will be done. It takes a very large transfer. We cannot let a player of that quality go without a replacement.
“Everyone knows Atletico were going to pay €53million plus a €12million bonus. That’s €65 million. The Arsenal executives are well informed, they will have to be in that range.”
Scoring at least 20 Ligue 1 goals in three consecutive seasons for Lyon, Aulas believes that the 26-year-old will command a big fee due to his prowess in front of goal.
“The prices for a player who scores every year between 25 and 30 goals [in all competitions], sometimes more than 30, is at least [€65million],” Aulas added.
“But frankly, I have not thought about Arsenal for the moment, because I thought that Alexandre would stay because of the failure, initially, with Atletico Madrid.”
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