Arsenal look set to step up their efforts to sign promising Lyon youngster Alexandre Lacazette after the player’s future was thrown into doubt following the news that current manager Remi Garde is set to depart this summer.
The French coach is set to step down from his role with the Ligue 1 side come the conclusion of the current campaign, with Garde citing undisclosed personal reasons as the driving force behind the decision.
His departure is a significant blow for Lyon, who saw Garde as a long-term appointment and someone to lead the club in much the same mould as Arsene Wenger has with the Gunners.
Garde played under the Arsenal coach during a brief one-season stint in north London and shared many of his mentor’s footballing philosophies.
He had garnered some praise from those in Ligue 1 too, having successfully cut the club’s excessive wage bill while blooding in a number of promising young players including Maxime Gonalons, Clement Grenier and Mehdi Zeffane to name but a few.
Chief among the promising talents on the books at the club, however, was Lacazette with the 22-year-old attracting interest from the likes of Liverpool and Tottenham in the past 12 months.
A tally of 15 goals this term has only further cemented his reputation as one of Europe’s hottest young players, but it had looked like the forward would remain with Lyon for at least another season a few weeks back.
Speaking in an interview with RMC Sports, club president Jean-Michel Aulas explained: “We are negotiating and we aim to extend his contract.”
But with no agreement as yet forthcoming, news of Garde’s imminent departure may prompt a rethink on Lacazette’s part, with any new manager likely to bring fresh ideas and a fresh perspective on how the team plays.
That could see the 22-year-old look abroad, with Arsenal offering the perfect move for a player keen to continue in the same vein as he has done under Garde.
The Gunners, meanwhile, look set to spend big this summer in a bid to push for a Premier League title next term and with Lacazette boasting the kind of speed and finishing ability not seen since the days of Thierry Henry, it could prove a perfect match.
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