Ever since Lyon striker Alexandre Lacazette scored 15 goals last season, rumours have been persistent linking him with a move away from the Stade Gerland. Both Liverpool and Arsenal have been heavily linked with the forward, but they will face competition from Juventus, Paris Saint-Germain…and Lyon themselves this summer.
The 23-year-old has started this season where he left off last campaign, but Coach Hubert Fournier has hinted that it is unlikely the France international will say goodbye to the Lyon this summer and backs the youngster to remain at the club when they open their new 58,000 seater Stade des Lumières next season.
Lacazette extended his contract till 2018 this summer and for Fournier, speaking to Canal+, suggests there is no rush to see the striker leave in even if President Jean-Michel Aulas receives a good offer.
“He is a player progressing," he said. "I am convinced that Alexandre Lacazette will be a major player in the France team for years to come. He took on more responsibilities this season with the departures of Bafé Gomis and Jimmy Briand. Inevitably, in view of the new stadium, it is important that OL has the means to keep its best players and to have a competitive team.”
This season Lacazette has already scored 11 goals in just 13 games firing OL up to third in the Ligue 1 table. After a slow start to the season there is now a very good chance that Lyon can finish in the top three and secure a place in the Champions League playoffs.
Having the chance to play against Europe’s elite with his hometown club, in their brand new stadium, may be too good an opportunity for Lacazette to resist, even if Liverpool and Arsenal come looking for the striker.
It would be a blow to Lyon if they miss out on hosting European football at their new home, but it would be a disaster if the 58,000 Lyon fans were not able to welcome Lacazette to the state-of-the-art stadium.
Both Arsenal and Liverpool may have to wait until 2016 before they are able to prise Lacazette away from his home, and if he continues to score at his current rate, they may have even more competition for his signature.