Arsenal will make one final offer for Alexandre Lacazette to try and tempt Lyon into selling the forward, just days after the Ligue 1 club embarrassed the Gunners by making their opening offer public.
Lyon were angered by Arsenal when a £29.3m offer arrived for the 25-year-old France international, and decided to make their rejection public knowledge in a warning to Arsenal given that it fell £3m short of what West Ham had offered over a month before.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger spoke openly of his desire to sign another “experienced” striker due to his lack of options, and The Telegraph reports on Saturday that the Premier League side will make a £35m final offer to Lyon in the hope they will allow Lacazette to leave the south of France.
With Danny Welbeck injured and Olivier Giroud set to miss the start of the season through a lack of fitness after being given time off following Euro 2016, Wenger is currently restricted to playing unproven striker Chuba Akpom. The academy graduate scored the winner in the 2-1 victory over the MLS All-Stars this week, but he has only made four Premier League appearances and would certainly be a risk heading into the first match of the season against Liverpool.
Theo Walcott is also an option for Wenger, but he struggled as the lead striker last season and his form has deserted him of late, leading to his snub from Roy Hodgson’s England squad and suggestions that he could even be sold by Wenger.
Having seen failed bids for Jamie Vardy and Gonzalo Higuain in recent weeks, Wenger is running out of options to strengthen his attack, and it appears another player on his wish-list has turned down a move to the Emirates in the form of Riyad Mahrez.
Arsenal expressed an interest in the PFA Player of the Year for the 2015/16 season, but it appears he will turn down the chance to leave Leicester just as Vardy did providing he gets a similar contract on around £100,000-a-week. Leicester look set to reward Mahrez for his form last season that helped them to the Premier League title, with the Daily Mail claiming that talks are ongoing between Mahrez’s representatives and Leicester over a six-figure contract.
Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri confirmed that he expects Mahrez to stay for the season ahead, and admitted that they regularly talk about his future and Ranieri’s desire to keep him among the ranks, having already lost N’Golo Kante to Chelsea.
"I speak often with him and say stay with us, it's much better for your future, I think he is an intelligent man and he will stay," Ranieri told Sky Sports.
"We support him very well, this is important, when you change teams maybe you don't find team-mates who help you at the same level.
"He improves more if he stays with us for another year, maybe next year he can think about another solution. If he goes for a lot of money, everybody will be expecting something special. He can do something special, but with us."
Arsenal are continuing talks over a move for Shkodran Mustafi, and The Mirror claim that the Valencia defender is hopeful of a successful transfer in order to work under Wenger. Mustafi has a £42.1m release clause in his contract, and as The Independent revealed on Friday, the Gunners have already made contact with his agent, Ali Bulut, over a transfer.
The report adds that Mustafi is confident that Valencia will allow him to leave for around £25m, although the north London side are yet to make an official offer for the Germany international.
Arsenal are also showing interest in Torino wing-back Bruno Peres after scouting him during the Eusebio Cup victory over Benfica on Wednesday. The right-sided defender was a transfer target for Manchester City earlier in the summer, but Torino’s €20m [£16.9m] valuation – according to Italian news outlet Gazzetta World – put Pep Guardiola off a move.
Talks have already taken place between Arsenal officials and Peres’s agent, the report adds, and Torino are expected an offer to arrive from the Gunners in the coming days. Any move for Peres is expected to signal the end of Mathieu Debuchy’s stay at the Emirates, with the right-back set to move back to France once Arsenal find defensive cover.
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