Alexandre Lacazette is the subject of growing transfer speculation – including links with Juventus.
L’Equipe this week named the Turin-based club amongst a host of clubs interested in trying to land the Arsenal striker.
It has now been claimed by Le10 Sport that they have opened talks by getting in touch with both Arsenal and Lacazette’s representatives.
Lacazette is said to be tempted by the prospect of a move but Arsenal are not keen to let him go. And manager Mikel Arteta gave a clear answer on the prospect of Lacazette leaving the club when asked about speculation this week.
Speaking ahead of their FA Cup semi-final clash with Manchester City, the Spaniard indicated that he has been delighted with Lacazette’s impact after overcoming a tough spell and sees him as a big part of his future plans.
“Why would I want to lose a player like him?” Arteta said. “I’m really happy with him. I really like Alex. I said that even before I joined here that he is the type of striker that I really like. I think he had periods where he was very unlucky, because he was having the chances and not converting them which he is not used to.
“But the way he can link play, he’s a massive competitor he hates to lose. He goes for every ball, you see in every challenge how he’s ready to go. He works really hard and he’s a very intelligent player, I am really happy with him.”
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is also being linked with an exit as he is yet to commit his long-term future to the club.
But Arteta is remaining positive over those contract talks.
I’ve always been very positive about it,” he added.
“I don’t have the key to the future and in football, anything is possible. But I see his reactions, I see how he is training every day.
“I know that he’s happy. I talk to him a lot and if we are able to do it, I think we can do it and we know how important he is for the team.”