Lyon snub Wenger on offer for Lacazette

Alexandre Lacazette (left) celebrates after scoring for Lyon on Friday. The striker has reaffirmed his commitment to the French club, saying: "There will be no departure. Everything is going well here."
Alexandre Lacazette (left) celebrates after scoring for Lyon on Friday. The striker has reaffirmed his commitment to the French club, saying: "There will be no departure. Everything is going well here."PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

Arsenal thwarted in their bid to entice striker as French club, player rebuff erratic Gunners

LONDON • Arsenal suffered a fresh blow on Monday when Lyon made it clear that Alexandre Lacazette would not be leaving the French football club this summer.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger had been hopeful that Lyon would reduce their £42 million (S$74.7 million) valuation of the striker, who has scored five goals in his first two appearances this season.

But Jean-Michel Aulas, the Lyon president, said: "Lacazette will stay with us."

Having failed to persuade Jamie Vardy to sign from Leicester City, Wenger targeted Lacazette and made a bid of €35 million (S$53.5 million) that Lyons initially did not even deem worthy of a direct response before publicly announcing that they were rejecting it.

"From a personal standpoint, I will like to pass the threshold of 30 goals this season," Lacazette, who has previously spoken of his desire to reach the 100-goal mark in French football, was quoted as saying by The Mirror . "There will be no departure. Everything is going well here at OL."

Despite Wenger being told that Danny Welbeck could return at Christmas, he is short of a striker and struggling to sign a centre-back. Pressure is mounting on him after a loss and a draw in their opening Premier League matches.

Wenger is looking to sign a centre-back after an injury to Per Mertesacker.

Discussions are ongoing with Valencia regarding a deal for Shkodran Mustafi but the Spanish side's manager, Pako Ayesteran, said on Monday that the German centre-back will not be leaving the club during this transfer window.

Wenger has been quoted a staggering £50million for Mustafi by Valencia, who need the cash to launch their own bid for Chelsea's Spanish winger Pedro.

On Monday, in a further blow to Wenger's hopes, West Bromwich Albion told their defender Jonny Evans that he will not be leaving the club this summer.

The 28-year-old has been linked with a move to Arsenal.

It is believed that West Brom want £25 million for Evans - the same amount that Arsenal is willing to pay for Mustafi.

Time is running out for Wenger with the transfer window set to close in a few days.

There is talk that in desperation he might turn to Monaco's young Congolese defender Marcel Tisserand or Bayer Leverkusen's experienced Turk Omer Toprak.

Arsenal have also been linked with a move for Southampton defender Jose Fonte - with Manchester United also interested in the Portuguese Euro 2016 winner - but it is understood the Saints will not sell Fonte and it is now a matter of whether the 32-year-old signs a new contract or not.

THE TIMES, LONDON, THE GUARDIAN

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 24, 2016, with the headline 'Lyon snub Wenger on offer for Lacazette'. Print Edition | Subscribe