Arsenal close to second signing as Wenger set to hold talks with agent

Alexandre Lacazette

The Gunners hunt for a new striker continues and the latest player to join the bandwagon of targets is Alexandre Lacazette as Arsene Wenger is set to meet his representatives, according to reports in the Mirror.

The report states that the Gunners have entered the race for the 25-year-old after Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has scheduled a meet with the France international’s agent, David Venditelli, later this week.

The French manager is currently in France to work with Bein Sport as part of their Euro 2016 coverage, but he remains active in the transfer market after his failure to sign the England forward to the Emirates despite activating his previous release clause with a £20m offer.

Lacazette missed out on Didier Deschamps’s France squad for Euro 2016 on home soil, despite scoring handsomely for Lyon last season, with Deschamps instead choosing to include Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud, Bayern Munich’s Kingsley Coman, Manchester United’s Anthony Martial and Andre-Pierre Gignac of Mexican side Tigres.

After scoring 21 league goals for Lyon last season, which helped him to second place in the French top-flight scoring charts only behind Zlatan Ibrahimovic, the 25-year-old forward is said to be wanted by several clubs.

According to the Mirror, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger will meet with Venditelli next week, but the North London club may face competition from fellow Premier League side West Ham as well as Champions League finalist Atletico Madrid.

The Ligue 1 team are unwilling to sell the France international forward for anything less than £45m, and with Lacazette having three years remaining on his current contract, the Les Gones will not be forced to sell unless they are happy with the deal offered.

Les Gones are already poised for a large financial boost after the Ligue 1 team are reportedly agreed to sell their defender Samuel Umtiti to Barcelona in a £21.5m deal that could be announced in the coming weeks.

Venditelli has yet to rule out the chance of Lacazette staying with the Les Gones for another season, having spoken earlier in the season to stress that his future will not be resolved until August when talks are held with the Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas.

Back in March, Venditelli told French newspaper:

“For the moment we’re thinking that Alex will still be a Lyon player next season,”

“In any case, we’ll discuss it in good time with Jean-Michel Aulas.

“We both have enough experience to know what we should do in the interest of Alex and the club.” He added.

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  1. Yes, the talk is simply a smokescreen to give the illusion that some transfer action is taking place in the background. But if you remember the mechanics of Wenger-Talk then you will know that he does opposite to what he says. So if he is saying “We are after player x”, that actually means he is NOT after player x. Corollary of this is that when he said at the end of the season some weeks ago that we will be very active this transfer window, we should have translated it as we will NOT be very active this transfer window; sad but totally predictable. Note that we lost four players (including Wellbeck through injury), we will be lucky to add to the acquisition of Xhaka. So we will be weaker next season than the last. HeyHo!