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Arsenal have reportedly “held further talks” with Lyon regarding Alexandre Lacazette ahead of a potential £49 million move.
According to the Telegraph‘s Sam Wallace, the two clubs are progressing toward a club-record deal, which would also see the Gunners make “additional payments” on top of the fee, though the striker is yet to make a decision on the move.
He plundered 37 goals in all competitions last season and has established himself as one of the most clinical strikers in European football in recent years.
Squawka Football demonstrated as much, with Lacazette proving to be a ruthless finisher when presented with goalscoring opportunities:
Squawka Football @Squawka
Highest conversion rate (20+ goals) in Europe’s top five leagues in 2016/17:
A. Lacazette (38.9%)
T. Werner (34.4%)
R. Falcao (33.9%)
At Arsenal, such chances would occur frequently, so he could rack up as many if not even more goals.
Football writer Andrew Gibney believes the 26-year-old still has room to grow, while beIN Sports’ Matt Spiro discussed the qualities he could bring with him:
Andrew Gibney @Gibney_A
#Arsenal fans better be happy about Lacazette. BE HAPPY. He’s so so good. Going to get better too.
Matt Spiro @mattspiro
Lacazette, if he signs, would add speed, mobility & technique to #AFC attack. Far deadlier finisher than any striker at club right now too
Given he is a proven, prolific goalscorer who could thrive at the Emirates Stadium, he’d make a superb capture for the Gunners and add a further cutting edge to their attack next season—Lacazette is worth paying a club-record fee for.
Meanwhile, according to the Evening Standard‘s James Olley, Arsenal’s £15 million price tag for Kieran Gibbs has prompted potential suitors Watford to look elsewhere this summer, specifically at Middlesbrough’s George Friend.
Catherine Ivill – AMA/Getty Images
The Arsenal left-back turns 28 in September and should be in the prime of his career, but he has fallen out of favour in recent years, with manager Arsene Wenger preferring Nacho Monreal.
The Gunners may need to temper their expectations of what they can receive for a player who made just 11 Premier League appearances last term and 15 the year before, not to mention when he has just one year left on his current deal.
So, too, might Gibbs need to rein in his wage demands—he is seeking a £20,000 pay rise on his current £60,000-per-week salary according to Olley, but he has done little on the pitch in recent seasons to warrant that.