Yes it certainly did appear that the Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas told the media that a deal for Alexandre Lacazette could go through in the next few days, but it is far from being a done deal, which Aulas (does he ever shut up!) has confirmed in a subsequent tweet yesterday.
— Jean-Michel AULAS (@JM_Aulas) July 2, 2017
This basically says that it is false that a deal has been agreed and Lacazette is not in London for a medical, as Arsenal’s opening offer was only 45 million euros, which is still some way off Lyon’s valuation and also well below the reported price that Atletico Madrid were preparing to pay before their transfer ban.
The second reason is that (as reported this morning) Lacazette is currently on holiday in Los Angeles so has had had no part in these talks at all so far. He has not agreed to anything. He has not discussed personal terms which he can’t do anyway until a transfer fee is agreed with Lyon, so all in all any reports of a done deal are still far from a reality.
And the third reason is very worrying. Who is he in Los Angeles with at the moment? Yes his holiday partner is none other than his great friend Anthoine Greizmann, who has no doubt been instrumental in Lacazette agreeing to move to Atletico in the first place. The Spanish giants may have a transfer ban, but it would be no great hardship for the French hitman to simply opt to stay at Lyon until January, and then go and join his friend in the Spanish capital.
May I remind you what Lacazette said about a possible move to Atletico (before the ban was confirmed). He said: “I think that’s the right time. I want to discover something else, and to play at a different level,” he told L’Equipe in May.
“I know very well that on a European scale I am not yet well recognised. I want to see if I can answer the questions that people are asking, and to make further progress.”
“Atletico is a club that is in the last rounds of the Champions League for several years. It is a great team, in a new stadium, and it is also a club that helps their players progress.
“And there is Antoine Griezmann. If Atletico is the club I chose, I have not told you, maybe I’ll give you another answer in a few months!
“It would be a beautiful story if we [Griezmann and Lacazette] could go on together It started in the French Under-18 team. He arrived timidly.
“There are always small groups, and he was a little alone, but we got closer, because we played together in attack and we got along well in life. Then, both of us, we carried almost all the rest of the group…..”
So, call me cynical if you want, but these are all valid reasons why Lacazette to Arsenal is still a long way from becoming a fact. It mat still happen, but do you think that Griezmann has been telling his best friend to wait for Atletico and the Champions League, or join Arsenal in the Europa?