Alexandre Lacazette was linked with several Premier League sides over the summer before signing a new contract with the Ligue 1 club
In-demand Lyon striker Alexandre Lacazette has launched an astonishing attack on his Ligue 1 employers during a frank interview with L’Equipe.
The 24-year-old was linked with a whole host of Premier League clubs last summer after helping Les Gones qualify for the Champions League with 27 goals in 33 Ligue 1 appearances.
Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool and even Newcastle United were rumoured to be keen on the France international, but Lacazette shunned any and all reported advances to sign a new, improved contract with Lyon.
However anyone thinking that Lacazette is now content with life at Stade de Gerland may be mistaken after the forward launched a scathing attack on both club chairman Jean-Michel Aulas and manager Hubert Fournier.
Speaking in an interview with L’Equipe, the 24-year-old refused to hold back, hitting out at Aulas for the way the contract negotiations were dealt with and criticising Fournier for failing to support him during a difficult period this term.
He was, in particular, critical of the chairman’s “attitude” towards contract negotiations and the way he would often speak to the fans about such matter.
All of which meant, when it came to Lacazette negotiating an improved deal, the fans perceived the 24-year-old’s approach to such dealings in a negative light.
“When he talks, a lot of fans listen. And when he retells things, seen from his point of view, it makes you think that the player is in the wrong,” he said.
"He could have not employed this method that made me look like someone that I'm not. I had decided to stay -- everything should have been straightforward."
Lacazette was particularly angry with Fournier for failing to explain to the media that his slow start to the current season was down to an injury.
"He could have explained what was happening … Of course I played some bad matches. You could say that I was rubbish and everything. But I had pains in my back,” he explained.
"I would have preferred that he defend me, that he might show that he was behind me rather than knocking me further...”
The comments are likely to generate a strong reaction from both Aulas and Fournier and could pave the way for Lacazette’s exit.
Aulas is regarded as something of an outspoken figure in the world of football and once famously criticised Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy for the protracted nature of the negotiations that saw Hugo Lloris sign for the White Hart Lane club.
Whether he comments publicly on the quotes now, remains to be seen but one thing is for sure: Premier League fans and clubs up and down the country will be listening intently.