Olympique Lyon have already rejected a €35 million bid by Arsenal FC for French striker Alexandre Lacazette, as confirmed by the Ligue 1 club on Tuesday.
Lyon confirmed in their official statement that they have turned down the offer from the Gunners as the 25-year-old striker is “irreplaceable”. Incidentally, Lyon-based newspaper Le Progrès had run a story earlier on Tuesday, claiming that Arsenal have tabled a €48 million offer for Lacazette. However, Olympique Lyon completely refuted the story.
“Olympique Lyonnais categorically denies having received an offer of €48 million from Arsenal for the transfer of Alexandre Lacazette as Le Progres claims in this morning’s edition,” announced Lyon, in their official statement [via ESPN].
Lyon also took this opportunity to announce that they have recorded a 111 per cent increase in their turnover in the stock exchange, as compared to last year.
“The club regrets once again that Le Progrès did not bother to contact the club before publishing this false information which creates confusion on the day that the [ownership] group, on the stock exchange, publishes its annual turnover of €218.1 million, up 111 percent compared to 2014/2015,” read the statement.
However the club did confirm that they have been approached by Arsenal about a possible move for Lacazette, but have decided to turn down the Gunners’ offer of €35 million.
“The reality is that Arsenal formulated an offer of €35 million which Olympique Lyonnais did not follow up on for one reason only: OL will keep Alexandre Lacazette who is irreplaceable and who is one of the main leaders of Bruno Genesio’s squad.”
Arsenal have been closely linked with a move for Lacazette throughout the summer, as the Gunners have fallen short of strikers after the injury to Danny Welbeck at the end of last season. In fact, media reports have even suggested that Arsenal are prepared to meet Lacazette’s release clause of £34 million (€40.5 million, according to current exchange rates).
Lacazette was in great form last season, managing to score 21 goals from 34 Ligue 1 appearances for Lyon. His exploits in the French League helped Lyon finish second, which entitles them to direct qualification to the Champions League group stage next season.
Although Lyon have been hell-bent on holding on to their star striker, Lacazette has reportedly told his employers that he wants to leave the club. Although he scored 21 goals last season, it was not good enough to get him into Didier Deschamps’ French squad for the 2016 European Championships. A move to a European giant like Arsenal may help the 25-year-old the recognition he needs, if he hopes to represent his nation in the 2018 World Cup.