Arsenal have been handed a boost in their pursuit of Alexandre Lacazette, after Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas confirmed the France striker wants to leave the Ligue 1 club.
With Alexis Sanchez thought to be closing on a move to Manchester City – the Chilean confirmed he knows where his future lies on Thursday – Arsenal are in the market for a high-profile striker and have been linked with Kylian Mbappe as well as Lacazette.
The Lyon star, who scored 37 goals in 45 matches at club level last term, had been expected to join Atletico Madrid, but the move fell foul of the Spanish club’s transfer ban.
Lacazette remains determined to leave Lyon, who failed to qualify for the Champions League for 2017-18, but Aulas says a deal is yet to be struck with the Premier League outfit.
“Alexandre should have left for Atletico, but that could not be done,” Aulas said. “He wants to leave and we want to keep him, but the decision is not made.
“The time has not come to give an agreement to Arsenal for Alexandre Lacazette under the current conditions.”
Lyon confirmed the capture of striker Mariano Diaz from Real Madrid on Friday on a four-year deal.
The 23-year-old is not seen as a potential replacement for Lacazette, however, with Aulas confirming his star player will be replaced by another France international.
Olivier Giroud, who struggled to break into Arsenal’s first team last term, is thought to be high on Aulas’ wish list, but he was tight-lipped on a potential swap deal.
“The case would obviously be the arrival of a player capable of scoring 25 to 30 goals per year,” he added. “It will be a French international or a player of a very large European club.
“I have never spoken about an exchange between Alexandre Lacazette and Olivier Giroud.”