Arsenal are ready to top the £42.5m paid to Real Madrid for Mesut Özil to land Lyon striker Alexandre Lacazette, claims the Daily Telegraph. The Gunners initial bid of £44m brought the French club to the table and with add-ons of £5m, the deal could rise to £49m.
With the future of Alexis Sanchez still unresolved, Arsène Wenger is strengthening his strikeforce with a proven goalscorer and one whose reputation may persuade the Chilean to stay at the Emirates.
Lacazette scored 28 in 32 Ligue Un appearances last season, bringing his tally to 100 goals in 203 games. Forty-nine of those came in the past two seasons, signalling the French international needs to move on if he is to add to his 11 caps for Les Bleus.
His arrival may spell the end of Olivier Giroud’s stay in north London although Alexis’ departure may save him. Lyon are interested in taking Giroud back to Ligue Un but the striker is believed to prefer staying in London, which gives West Ham United the edge.
Lacazette is looking to usurp Giroud from the French side and with Kylian Mbappe proving to be flavour of the month, knows joining a high-profile club is necessary to continue featuring in Didier Deschamp’s plans.
Originally preferring Champions League football, he is prepared to swallow that demand with Atletico Madrid banned by FIFA from registering new players until next January.