Arsenal’s summer transfer window continues to go from bad to worse as Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas has again ruled out an exit for Alexandre Lacazette.
With just over a week to go until the transfer deadline, Arsene Wenger has only been able to bring in Granit Xhaka, Rob Holding and Takuma Asano so far this summer.
Given the need to strengthen in key positions, as well as injury setbacks in defence and the work done by their rivals this summer, much more was expected, and arguably needed, in order for the Gunners to build on their second-placed finish in the Premier League last season.
Last month, Arsenal saw a €35m bid for Lacazette rejected by Lyon, as confirmed on the Ligue 1 side’s official Twitter page, and have yet to return with an improved offer.
Since then, the French international has scored five goals in his first two league matches of the campaign, further underlining the talent that he possesses and strengthening the argument that he would add much needed firepower to the Arsenal squad.
However, Aulas has now dismissed the idea of an exit: “Of course [he will stay], Alexandre is one of the key players in the team,” he told former France international Christophe Dugarry’s new RMC radio show on Monday.
Whether or not Arsene Wenger intended to return with a higher offer is unclear, but the message is fairly simple from Lyon, and if it is a bluff, then it will still take a significant bid to prise the striker away from the club.
With a move for Lacazette no closer to being done, it adds to the frustration at the Emirates with Wenger still looking for a defender to solve his injury crisis with both Per Mertesacker and Gabriel ruled out of action.
The protracted chase of Valencia defender Shkodran Mustafi appears to be coming to an unsuccessful end, as noted by The Independent, and so time is certainly running out for the Arsenal boss to bring in the players needed to ensure his side continue to compete at the top of the Premier League this year.