Since the climax of the season, the list of strikers pursued by Arsene Wenger and Arsenal has grown and grown astronomically.
First it was Jamie Vardy, and everyone seemed to think this deal would go through devoid of any complications. However, with the Englishman heading off to the Euros, he was left to sit on the decision and eventually decided against the move from Leicester to London.
Following this, more and more names were thrown into the hat. Alvaro Morata, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, and Gonzalo Higuain were early speculations but more recently rumours concerning Romelu Lukaku, Gabriel Barbosa, and Mauro Icardi have been gathering genuine pace.
To make matters more confusing, Wenger talked on Wednesday about another possible striker target. Granted, he doesn’t say much, but the Gunners boss is normally one to immediately quash untrue rumours. He hasn’t done this here, so perhaps by saying very little, he has actually said a lot.
Alexandre Lacazette, the striker in question, is no doubt at the top of many Arsenal fans’ wishlist.
The Frenchman, who has scored an extremely impressive 48 goals in his last two seasons at Lyon in Ligue 1, has long been on Wenger’s mind. Given their shared nationality, it is not naïve to assume that the Arsenal manager has been keeping a particularly close eye on the striker since his rise to the top in France.
Given his unbelievable pace some Arsenal fans will welcome this move, expecting Lacazette to offer an entirely different threat to that posed by current striker Olivier Giroud.
Speaking to Canal+ Sport, Wenger commented on the speculation, saying he could “neither confirm nor deny interest”.
“If I say that I like the player, it starts speculation.”
In fact, it seems his comments may have fuelled the same speculation he looked to work around. But regardless of this, the path to signing Lacazette is not an easy one.
It is clear that Lyon would like their star player to remain for at least one more season, which explains their huge valuation: £45 million. In order to make the deal happen, Wenger would have to break his transfer record of £42.5 million for Mesut Ozil.
Furthering complications could arise from West Ham and Atletico Madrid’s interest in the player. More competition for a signature will likely force Lyon’s price tag further and further away from what Wenger is willing to pay.
The question is: will Wenger’s stubbornness scupper an Arsenal transfer yet again, or will he splash the cash to ward off other potential suitors?
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