Alexandre Lacazette to Newcastle: Magpies 'optimistic deal can be done'

The 24-year-old has scored 58 goals in 156 appearances for current club Lyon

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The Independent Football

Newcastle United have been given reason to believe they may finally be successful in signing long-term target Alexandre Lacazette, according to reports.

The 24-year-old has scored 58 goals in 156 appearances for current club Lyon and has become one of the most keenly sought-after talents in Europe, attracting the interest of Premier League champions Chelsea in the past. 

It was previously believed that Lacazette, voted in the Ligue 1 team of the year for two successive seasons, had no intention of joining the North East outfit. But the Daily Telegraph have today revealed his representatives appear more willing to discuss the prospect with members of the Newcastle hierarchy.  

Today’s reports come as Andros Townsend appears certain to join Henri Saivet, the midfielder from Bordeaux, and Jonjo Shelvey, who signed from Swansea, at St James’ Park this month.

Should the Magpies be able to get the deal over the line, for a fee in the region of £20m, it would leave manager Steve McClaren with few excuses left if he is unable to steer the club away from the relegation mire.

Speaking last summer, France international Lacazette said: “Yes, I am thinking about it and the Premier League is very attractive for a player.

“But I know that to go there I have to do well this season. So I am very concentrated on doing well and maybe, after that, I will go there.

“So I know that it is possible that I will move to the Premier League and Lyon are aware of that also. 

“There is no formal agreement that I will go but the president [Jean-Michel Aulas] knows that it’s a possibility that I will leave Lyon at the end of the season.”