According to The Times (£), Arsenal are ready to let Alex Lacazette leave the club if we fail to qualify for the Champions League this season.
The Gunners opened talks with the France international about a new deal last year, however, with little ground made, they were shelved.
Lacazette, last year’s player of the year, has a deal that lasts until the summer of 2022, however, it sounds as though the club are willing to sacrifice him this summer with a view to ploughing any funds from a sale into new signings and a pay increase for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
It’s claimed that we’re trying to re-engage the Gabon international in contract talks at the moment with his deal ending in 2021. Indeed, Mikel Arteta said at the weekend that the club would do all they could to keep their captain and leading goalscorer.
It’s no secret that failing to qualify for the Champions League hits us hard in the pocket. After two full seasons in the Europa League, Deloitte recently highlighted that we’ve fallen to 11th in Europe’s Football Money League losing ground on Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea and Sp*rs.
As things stand, we have an outside chance of qualifying for the Champions League via the Premier League, but that very much depends on Uefa’s two-year ban for Manchester City being upheld. We could also win the Europa League.
Lacazette might not be the only player we try to cash in on this summer. Mesut Ozil, Shkodran Mustafi and Sokratis all enter the final year of their contract in July and it remains unclear how we’re going to deal with them.
The football executive committee has previously stated that they won’t allow players to quit the club for free and with new deals for the above trio unlikely you’d imagine we may well be touting them to potential suitors already.
David Ornstein said last week that Arsenal are currently prioritising a new contract for Bukayo Saka who will also enter the final 12-months of his first professional contract in July.