Mikel Arteta says there is a case for Alexandre Lacazette to stay at Arsenal despite his contract expiring at the end of the season.
Alexandre Lacazette may have failed to score in the Premier League once again, but his play rewarded him, and his team, with two assists.
Naturally, Mikel Arteta gets asked about his captain quite regularly, given he is out of contract in the summer.
The press conference after Arsenal’s 3-2 win over Watford was no different.
Asked if there was a case for the forward to stay at the club, Arteta said, “There is a case.
“At the end of the season, when we know where we are, we’ll sit down with those three players and between all of us make a decision.”
I’m not entirely sure who the other two are at the time of writing, with only snippets of his presser out at the moment. I assume one is Eddie Nketiah. The other out of contract is Mohamed Elneny. There is also a lot of talk around a new deal for Bukayo Saka.
Speaking at the end of last month, Arteta admitted he felt Lacazette was playing like a man who wanted to stay, and you can read more about that below.
Mikel Arteta says Alexandre Lacazette is acting like he wants to stay
Mikel Arteta says Alexandre Lacazette is behaving like someone who wants to stay at Arsenal, amid the speculation over his contract.
Alexandre Lacazette may not have been credited with the last-minute goal against Wolves, but he certainly had the biggest Arsenal hand in the winner.
After the game, Mikel Arteta admitted the future is still uncertain for the striker, adding that Lacazette is at least acting like someone who wants to stick around.
“We don’t know what’s going to happen at the end of the season,” Arteta said.
“We don’t have contracts that run for 20 years, it’s part of our job. He behaves like someone who wants to stay with us.”
Lacazette’s contract expires at the end of the season, and the player is now free to negotiate a pre-contract agreement with a foreign club, but Arsenal aren’t planning to rush into extension talks with him.
That’s according to previous quotes from Arteta, who says the club have spoken to the various players with expiring deals about their situation more generally, but aren’t holding negotiations yet.
“There is a chance [Lacazette signs a new deal], but we have decisions to make on three or four players in regards to the summer,” Arteta said.
“Starting those conversations right now, I don’t think is the right way. We have spoken to all the players, what to expect, the freedom that they have because the contracts allow them to make any decisions, and with our position there.
“That’s what we are going to do. At the end of the season, we will sit down and decide what’s the best for all the parties.”
Football.London report that Lacazette is expected to leave Arsenal when his contract with the club comes to an end this summer, and he’s set to hold talks over a return to former club Lyon.
Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas recently told the media they intend to make a move for Lacazette this summer.
“We’ll do our best to sign Alexandre Lacazette in June,” Aulas said.
Lyon director Vincent Ponsot added: “We’ve seen the maturity that he’s acquired. We’ve always remained in contact with him. But bringing in big players is always complicated.”
L’Equipe previously reported that Lyon tried in vain to pry Lacazette away from Arsenal in January, and they’ll attempt to lure him back again in the coming months.
Lacazette has always maintained a strong bond with his old club. The Lyon hierarchy have made contact with his entourage in recent weeks.