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Lyon chief confirms interest in Arsenal star

Lyon’s director of football Vincent Ponsot has confirmed that the club will try to sign Arsenal striker Alexandre Lacazette this summer.

The Frenchman has entered the final five months of his Gunners contract, and it appears unlikely that he will put pen-to-paper on a renewal.

Les Gones failed with a late approach for Lacazette during the January transfer window, and Ponsot has now acknowledged they are still interested.

He added that the club have maintained regular contact with the marksman and could make a potential approach to sign him on a free transfer.

He told RMC Sport: “It’s Lacazette – he interests us because he marked this club. It’s a profile that interests us and we have always been in contact with him.”

Meanwhile, club president and owner Jean-Michel Aulas also confirmed that Lacazette is a more realistic option than Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema.

He said: “In our context, yes it (Lacazette) is more accessible than Benzema. We have to try to see if we can do it as a free player, but we will not be alone.”

Lacazette was a huge hit for Les Gones. Having graduated through the youth ranks, he bagged 129 goals and 43 assists from 279 games in all competitions.

He has not had the same level of success with the Gunners but has still registered an impressive tally of 70 goals and 32 assists from 192 appearances.

The Gunners remain open to renewing his contract beyond the summer, but it appears unlikely that the striker will accept the club’s offer.

The north London giants prefer a short-term renewal on similar wages, but the Frenchman reportedly favours a long-term contract to commit his future.

This could end his five-year association with the club. Lyon have an excellent relationship with him, but the 30-year-old may not accept a significant pay cut.

He is currently on a lucrative salary of around £182,000-per-week. Jerome Boateng is Lyon’s highest earner and receives less than half of that amount.

Les Gones are bound to face plenty of competition for his services. Atletico Madrid are long-term admirers, while Sevilla and Roma have also been linked.

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