Arsenal have been dealt a blow in their pursuit of Lyon’s forward Alexandre Lacazette after the club’s president Jean-Michel Aulas confirmed that the striker will sign for Atletico Madrid this summer.
Arsene Wenger has been on the trail of the prolific France international forward and made an attempt to sign him last summer.
The Gunners boss has Lacazette as one of his top transfer targets but the absence of Champions League football at the Emirates stadium next season has made the forward shifted his focus to Atletico Madrid.
Aulas revealed that Lacazette, who still has two years left on his current contract, has reached a verbal agreement with the Spanish club, putting to rest any speculation surrounding his future at Lyon.
He said as quoted by Independent: “Alex has a verbal agreement with one club, Atletico. We have accepted Alex’s demand to speak exclusively with this club, but the other side of the coin is that this exclusivity requires them to meet our
conditions”, Aulas said after Saturday’s match against Nice.
“There have already been two contacts with Atletico Madrid for Alexandre Lacazette, but there is no certainty because we have to wait to see if the Court of Arbitration for Sport will lift their
Atletico are currently banned from signing players by FIFA for breaking regulations on signing under-aged players but have appealed at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) and are expecting hearing
on that this month.
Lacazette has spent 14 years at Lyon, having joined them as a youth and made his senior debut in the 2009/2010 season. The 25-year-old scored 30 league goals and 35 in 44 matches across all competitions
this season. He has netted a total of 100 league goals and 129 goals in all competitions for Lyon.