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Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas have told Arsenal to increase their offer in order to sign Alexandre Lacazette, according to reports.
Reports emerged over the weekend that Arsenal were closing in on a deal to sign Lacazette after submitting a £44m bid for the forward last week.
It was claimed that both clubs have scheduled a meeting for this week where a deal is expected to be finalized, with Wenger keen on getting it done before his team fly out to Australia for their pre-season on July 3rd.
But Aulas has now poured cold water on those reports, claiming a deal to take Lacazette to the Emirates isn’t close and has urged Arsenal to increase its bid.
The Lyon supremo claims it will take a bid of €65m to convince them into parting with their star striker.
“I do not intend to sell Alexander quickly, because there is always the option of Atletico Madrid to signing him on January 1, 2018,” Aulas told L’Equipe. “I also listen to what Alexander says.
“I saw Arsene during the match between France and England [on June 13]. I was with Gerard Houllier [who is an adviser to Aulas] and I understand he told Gerard that there could be an interest from Arsenal. But it is premature to say that things will be done.
“We can not let a player of that quality go without his replacement [lined up].
“Everyone knows Atletico were going to pay €53m plus €12million. That’s €65m. The Arsenal executives are well informed, they will have to be in that range.
“The price for a player who scores between 25 and 30 goals, sometimes more than 30, every year is at least that.
“But frankly, I have not thought about Arsenal for the moment because I thought that Alexander would stay after the failure, initially, with Atletico Madrid.”
Lyon were thought to be desperate to sell Lacazette so as to balance their financial books but the transfer of Corentin Tolisso to Bayern Munich appears to have eased things for the French club and they are now insistent on getting the maximum fee they can from Lacazette sale.
Arsenal will now have to dig deep to sign the striker as our reported bid is some way short of what Lyon are demanding.
However there are reports suggesting Arsenal will get the deal done in the coming days ahead of the start of the pre-season as planned.
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