Lyon CEO Jean-Michel Aulas has revealed Arsenal must fork out at least £57million if they want to land Alexandre Lacazette this summer.
Arsenal were reportedly close to sealing a £44million transfer for the French striker, but Aulas insists the Gunners must match Atletico Madrid’s offer to get their man.
Aulas confirmed that he and general manager Gerard Houllier met Arsene Wenger during France’s 3-2 victory over England just under a fortnight ago, where it’s believed the Arsenal chief claimed he was interested in a move for Lacazette and nothing else.
Aulas has no desire to sell Lacazette this summer, but will be willing to listen to offers of up to £57million.
Speaking to French publication L’Equipe (via The Sun), Aulas said on the matter:
“I do not intend to sell Alexandre [Lacazette] quickly, because there is always the will of Atletico Madrid to bring it [the transfer] to January 1.
“Now I also listen to what Alexandre says. I saw Arsene [Wenger], during the France vs England match.
“I was with Gerard Houllier and I understand that he told Gerard that there could be interest from Arsenal.
“But it’s premature to say that things will happen. It takes a very large transfer before. A player of that quality cannot be allowed to leave without having his replacement.
“It will have to be at least that [£57m].
“Everyone knows that the offer of Atletico is €53m [£46.5m] plus €12M [£10.5m]. That’s €65m [£57m].
“As the leaders of Arsenal are well informed, they will be in those waters.”
“The prices for a player who marks every year with between 25 and 30 goals, sometimes more than 30, is at least that.”
He went on to say that he believes Lacazette will remain at Lyon following the failure of a move to Atletico Madrid which could be revived on January 1st:
“But frankly, I have not thought about Arsenal for the moment, because I thought that Alexandre would stay because of the failure, initially, with the Atletico Madrid move.”
With Alexis Sanchez’s future still in limbo, it will please Arsenal fans to see Wenger constructing several contingency plans should the Chilean leave this summer.