Lyon have released a statement on their official Twitter feed revealing that they have rejected an offer from Arsenal for Alexandre Lacazette.
The Ligue 1 outfit made reference to a report in Le Progres that had suggested the Gunners had lodged a €48m bid for the French striker.
Having dismissed that as being untrue, they went on to confirm that they had received an offer of €35m which they had rejected as they see the striker as being “irreplaceable”.
“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,” the statement read.
“The club regrets once again that Le Progres 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.
“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.”
The 25-year-old has established himself as one of Europe’s top marksman as he scored 23 goals in 44 appearances in all competitions last season, which followed his tally of 31 goals the previous year.
In turn, it’s no surprise that Arsene Wenger has been monitoring his progress closely and eventually made a bid, although it looks as though the French tactician will have to return with an improved offer to see if he can test Lyon’s resolve.
Based on the statement, it doesn’t appear as though the French outfit have any desire to discuss a possible exit for Lacazette, but if Arsenal are adamant on signing the clinical striker, then perhaps a more substantial offer will twist the arm of their rivals.
The Gunners will be desperate to add a consistent goalscorer to their ranks this summer, with Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott failing to offer the assurances needed that they are capable of firing them to silverware in the coming years.
— Olympique Lyonnais (@OL) July 26, 2016