Lyon striker Alexandre Lacazette has confirmed in an interview with L’EQUIPE that he will leave the club in the summer.
The 25-year-old has been heavily linked to a move to Atletico Madrid but the likes of Arsenal and Liverpool have also reportedly lodged an interest.
The France international has scored 35 goals in 44 games for the Ligue 1 outfit this season and is primed for a move to bigger club.
Here, we weigh up the options he has to consider.
It’s no secret that Arsene Wenger is an admirer of the striker and the Arsenal boss definitely enjoys a French flavour in his side. Lacazette’s pace, movement and finishing coupled with his strength and ability to hold the ball up makes him a prime candidate to lead the Gunners’ forward line.
Olivier Giroud has been in good form but can never quiet justify a regular starting berth while Alexis Sanchez is explosive regardless of whether he’s played through the middle or from the left flank. With the Chilean wreaking havoc in the final third and Mesut Ozil’s eye for a killer pass, Lacazette is sure to enjoy plenty of chances and together, the trio could become a force to reckon with.
If Sanchez moves this summer though, Arsenal will be all the more desperate to reel in a proven goal scorer like Lacazette to fill the void. Much will depend on whether or not they will have Champions League football to offer next season as that would appear to be a deal-breaker for the Frenchman.
Likelihood – 6/10
Jurgen Klopp’s teams generally thrive on quick counter-attacks and while Sadio Mane in particular has been the focus of such breakaways this season, Liverpool would certainly benefit from another forward with scintillating pace in behind.
Roberto Firmino has done a fine job up front as has Divock Origi but Lacazette would take the team to the next level in terms of goal-scoring. Daniel Sturridge’s injury concerns seem to have no end and the Frenchman would operate in his stead to devastating affect.
However, if the English international does enjoy one of his more prominent seasons in terms of playing time, the prospect of the two working in tandem, much like Sturridge did with Luis Suarez, is enticing.
Similar to the situation with Arsenal though, Champions League football will prove pivotal.
Likeliood – 5/10
Lacazette has already voiced his admiration for Atletico Madrid who are undoubtedly the front-runners in the race for his signature.
The Vincente Calderon has proved to be a haven for strikers in recent years with the likes of Fernando Torres, Sergio Aguero, Mario Mandzukic, Diego Costa and Antoine Griezmann all thriving at the club. Lacazette will hope that he can continue the trend as they move into the new Wanda Metropolitano stadium.
Diego Simeone has always ensured that his strikers enjoy plenty of service and it will be no different with Lacazette. The prolific scorer will have to shoulder much of the responsibility in attack and has to be willing to put a shift in as well but Atletico’s system with a centre forward in behind would keep him from being isolated.
If United manage to lure Griezmann to Old Trafford as is reported, then Lacazette would have the chance to be the main man at Atletico as well.
The Madrid outfit have already secured Champions League football and boast an added advantage over Arsenal and Liverpool as they can also claim to be serious contenders for the league title. However, the Premier League clubs could well be willing to write him a bigger pay cheque.
Likelihood – 8/10
With the season coming to a close, the transfer window is about to open.
Rumours are gathering apace and we take a look at the latest stories doing the rounds in the media.
The goalkeeping situation at Manchester United continues to dominate the column inches, with Ederson the latest name to be touted as David De Gea’s replacement.
De Gea has been linked with an Old Trafford exit this summer and the Manchester Evening News is reporting United are looking at the Benfica stopper.
To add further interest to the saga, Goal is reporting Real Madrid – the likeliest destination for De Gea – are keen to take Atletico keeper Jan Oblak across the city.
SPORT360 RATING: Ederson is considered top of Manchester United’s radar should De Gea opt to sign for Real Madrid. At 23, he’s considered a long term replacement for the Spaniard at Old Trafford. The Brazilian was instrumental in Benfica’s title winning success this season, conceding just 16 goals all campaign.
Chelsea will arm Antonio Conte with a £200million transfer kitty this summer and the Italian will spend over £40million of it on Monaco’s Tiemoue Bakayoko, according to the Telegraph.
The 22-year-old Frenchman has been a key part of Monaco’s Ligue 1 title-winning side, making 31 appearances this season.
With widespread reports that Chelsea could ship Michy Batshuayi to Monaco, this would help to get the deal over the line.
SPORT360 RATING: The Frenchman has emerged as a key target to strengthen Chelsea’s midfield options and the club are expected to step up their efforts to sign the player as early as next week.
Arsenal’s hopes of keeping hold of Alexis Sanchez depend on whether they make the top four, the Daily Express writes.
The Chilean has been the standout performer for the Gunners this season but, having stalled on a new contract, he could leave in the summer if there is no Champions League football at the Emirates next season.
SPORT360 RATING: Arsenal are expected to offer a new contract in excess of £300,000 per week. Couple that with an FA Cup win and there’s every chance the Chilean could stay at the Emirates Stadium. However, Chelsea have lodged an interest and should they win the Premier League, the lure of playing for the champions may prove to be too much.
Harry Kane’s first ever four-goal haul propelled him to the top of the Premier League scoring charts with the Tottenham striker in the “driving seat” to finish top scorer.
The 23-year-old, whose goals along with a double from Korean star Son Heung-min saw this season’s runners-up hammer last year’s champions Leicester 6-1, added he hoped Hugo Lloris could also win the Golden Glove for the least goals conceded when they round off their league season at relegated Hull.
Kane tops the Golden Boot charts with 26 goals, two ahead of Everton’s Romelu Lukaku with Arsenal’s Chilean marksman Alexis Sanchez third, a further goal adrift.
With only a few weeks to go until the end of the season, transfer gossip is beginning to gather pace!
Here, we look at three key transfers that could happen this summer as clubs and players alike look for new moves and opportunities.
Will any of the following deals happen?
Share with us your thoughts by commenting below, using #360fans on Twitter or getting in touch via Facebook.
Chelsea have reportedly reached an agreement with Alvaro Morata.
Diario Gol claim the Spaniard’s agent has been in negotiations with several European clubs – but that the 24-year-old has now decided to join Chelsea, with both parties closing on an agreement.
Morata’s girlfriend has also reportedly been preparing for life in London by house-hunting for the pair.
SPORT360 VERDICT: Should Diego Costa leave Stamford Bridge this summer, expect Antonio Conte to secure the services of Morata. The 24-year-old has grown frustrated with a lack of game under Zinedine Zidane at Real Madrid this season. Despite just 14 La Liga starts, the Spaniard has still netted 15 goals.
Celtic face a battle with Brighton if they pursue a summer move for Liverpool’s Lucas, report the Daily Record.
The Hoops’ former Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers has been alerted to the fact that the Brazilian will be allowed to leave on a free transfer at the end of the season.
Rodgers worked with Lucas at Anfield and is aware of his current position – but the Premier League new boys are also keen on the 30-year-old.
SPORT360 VERDICT: With Brendan Rodgers looking to strengthen his squad ahead of next season, the prospect of signing the experienced Lucas remains high on his list. After ten full seasons at Liverpool, the 30-year-old is said to be considering a move away from Anfield. The prospect of playing Champions League football – and playing under former boss Rodgers again – could persuade the Brazilian to join the Hoops.
Liverpool want £30million for Mamadou Sakho, according to the Guardian.
The French defender is on loan at Crystal Palace and has been told he has no future at Anfield.
SPORT360 VERDICT: Sakho has been instrumental since joining Palace on loan in February, most notably in their wins over Chelsea and Arsenal. With no future at Liverpool under Jurgen Klopp, Palace will attempt to make the loan move permanent this summer.
Chelsea manager Antonio Conte expects departing captain John Terry to play beyond the end of the season, despite the former England centre-back hinting he may retire.
Speaking after scoring in Chelsea’s 4-3 victory over Watford on Monday, their first outing since winning the Premier League, Terry said: “I still haven’t ruled out Sunday being my last game and retiring.”
Chelsea finish the season at home to Sunderland on Sunday, before tackling Arsenal in the FA Cup final, and while Conte has come to terms with Terry’s decision to leave, he believes he will not hang up his boots.
“No, absolutely not. No, no, John wants to continue to play,” said Conte.
“I wish for him and his family the best. Chelsea will always be his home because John, first of all, is a great man and a great legend and player for Chelsea — and in future for the team he decides to play for.”