Samuel Umtiti has claimed that Alexandre Lacazette is waiting for the “right time” to leave Lyon
According to beIN Sports, Umtiti was talking to Canal Sports Football when he said that while he respects Lyon, Lacazette was definitely looking for a move in order to further his own career, but was just waiting for the right time.
Umtiti also confirmed that he had rejected offers from clubs in England as Barcelona was his dream. He claims that he could have made a lot more money had he joined an English side, but his priority was Barcelona :
“I have a lot of respect for Lyon, they’re one of the biggest French clubs, but there will come a time when he could leave to improve,” Umtiti said to Canal, according to beIN Sports. “He’ll have that desire, I know his character. He’s waiting for the right moment.”
“It was always a dream for me to play here [at Barca]. I must be the happiest man in the world. There was another club other than Barca, there were English clubs too. I could have earned a lot more money, but I wasn’t interested. For me, it was Barcelona and not another team.”
Umtiti joined Barcelona from Lyon at the beginning of the season in a £22m deal and has been a key part of the side since joining. Injuries have restricted him to just 10 appearances in the league, but Umtiti already looks like he is going to be a key part of Barcelona’s team for years to come.
Alexandre Lacazette has been linked with moves to England for a long time now. He has reportedly been a long-term target for Arsenal, and Lyon even confirmed that the Gunners had a bid of £29.4million rejected for the Frenchman.
Lyon’s president Jean-Michel Aulas also confirmed that the club had rejected a whopping £42.7m bid from West Ham for the striker, and categorically stated that the forward would not be sold under any circumstances in the summer.
Liverpool have been sparingly linked with the striker as well, with Fichajes claiming Jurgen Klopp is interested in the Frenchman. Although the links with Liverpool aren’t that strong, there is no doubt that they could use a player of Lacazette’s quality in their side.
The 25-year old has scored 17 goals and picked up one assist in 16 appearances for Lyon in Ligue 1 this season, with one of those appearances coming as a substitute. He has picked up 5 Man of the Match appearances according to Whoscored, and it is no surprise that top clubs in Europe are interested in him.
Aulas also claimed earlier this month that Lyon had received and rejected bids of upto £60m for Lacazette, although reports earlier in the season claimed the Frenchman was offered a new contract with a £59m release clause.
Lacazette has not signed a new contract thus far, however, and this will only fuel speculation that he is bound to leave in the summer. It seems highly unlikely that Lyon will let one of their key men go this window, but with the striker only having two and a half years left on his contract, they may have to do business this summer to get a large fee.