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Jean Michel-Aulas has confirmed that Arsenal will sign Alexandre Lacazette in the coming days. Such confirmation challenges the historic doubt that suggests the deal will falter at the last hurdle.
As Arsenal entered the summer transfer window, there was a nervous trepidation that they could actually spend money. After a disappointing season where a stagnating, rotting squad was painfully exposed, it was clear that heavy and significant investment was needed.
Arsene Wenger claimed that he and the club were wanting to fight for titles and trophies and are willing to act on such desires and ambitions. Those actions start in the transfer window, and while the free-agent addition of Sead Kolasinac was an astute one, it was not the big-name, substantial signing that fans have been baying for.
That man is Alexandre Lacazette, a move that is more and more likely to happen. There have been significant rumours linking the Lyon striker with a move to North London, which have ramped up in recent days. However, as we all know with Wenger and Arsenal, a transfer is never completed until it is official. Thankfully, Lyon President Jean-Michel Aulas is rather talkative to the media.
When asked about the impending sale of Lacazette, Aulas revealed that the move to the Emirates would be completed in the coming days pending a successful medical, and was even willing to divulge details of a potential fee:
“The transfer of Alexandre Lacazette to Arsenal could be done in one or two days. We will probably reach a new record, it’s not a small transfer, €50m for a player trained by our club. The first offer made by Arsenal was €45m. The deal will happen for something between €45m and €50m. The €67m announced by English sources and relayed was an impossible and not realistic sum.”
They are comforting comments. As a fan of the Gunners for a painful number of years, whenever rumours of a significant signing abound, while there is a sense of hope and optimism, my predominant sense is one of doubt, uncertainty and disbelief.
That was again the case with Lacazette. While I always hoped for the transfer to be completed, history tells us to never be so naive. Wenger is notoriously complacent and hesitant when it comes to possible additions, and has let players slip through his fingers in the past.
That is why I could never allow myself to be indulged by the rumours. It is also why Aulas’ comments are so reassuring.