Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has confirmed that the club will soon sit down with striker Alexandre Lacazette to talk about his future.
The Frenchman’s current contract expires at the end of the 2021/22 season, but given the fact that he has struggled to hold down a permanent place in Arteta’s lineup this season, there have been suggestions that he could be sold this summer before he enters the final 12 months of his deal.
A move to Atlético Madrid in exchange for midfielder Thomas Partey has been mooted, but Arteta has insisted (via Sky Sports News) that he is a huge fan of Lacazette and wants to hold talks with the striker to figure out his future.
“We have to have a chat about the next step with him and get his ideas and his feelings,” the boss revealed. “As I said, I am really happy with him.
“He’s a player that I’ve always liked, even when I wasn’t here, because of what he brings to the team: his qualities, his ability, his work rate. So let’s see.
“Now we are in a crucial moment. It’s no time to talk about a lot of contract situations. We still have time and we will do it in the right moment.”
Arteta might claim that now isn’t the right time to discuss contracts, but that view is obviously not shared by the club. Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli have both inked fresh terms recently – following on from David Luiz, Cédric Soares and Pablo Marí – and forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is also holding his own talks.
Having said that, he’s not wrong about this being a crucial moment for Arsenal. The Gunners are eyeing an unlikely push for Champions League qualification and but are focused on at least sealing a spot in the Europa League.
Arsenal currently sit seventh, three points behind Wolves and eight behind fourth-placed Chelsea, and Arteta admitted that they may need some divine intervention to help them reach their goals.
“I think we have to win every game and then wait and pray. It’s not about winning one game. I think we need to go game-by-game,” he added. “A few weeks ago, we were really far from even thinking about Europe and now we are a little bit closer at the moment. So let’s go game-by-game and see where it takes us.
“Now we are on a good run, we’ve got some momentum and we’re getting to the crucial point of the season where we’re going to face the top teams in the next two weeks and we’re just trying to get prepared as well as we can.
“We know how important these games are going to be for the future of the season, so we are very focused and committed to trying to do as well as we can.”