Arsenal's protracted pursuit of Alexandre Lacazette appears destined to end in disappointment after the prolific striker clarified that he does not intend to leave Lyon this summer. The 25-year-old has bounced back from the disappointment of missing out on the France squad for Euro 2016 in typically confident style, netting five goals in just two appearances: a hat-trick against newly-promoted Nancy and two penalties in Friday's 2-0 victory over Caen.
Lacazette's 23-goal haul last season saw him inevitably linked with a move away from Ligue 1, with Lyon confirming last month that they "did not respond" to a €35m (£30.1m, $39.5m) offer from Arsenal. They later dismissed reports that the Gunners had returned with an improved bid worth in the region of €48m.
His impressive start to the new season, combined with Arsene Wenger's glaring need for a new centre-forward, has ensured that this particular transfer saga continues to bubble under the surface, despite both president Jean-Michel Aulas and the player himself providing repeated reassurances that he was content to stay put. West Ham United are the other club to be credited with an interest, although manager Slaven Bilic "100%" ruled out any move earlier this month.
"From a personal standpoint, I will like to pass the threshold of 30 goals this season," Lacazette, who has previously spoken of his desire to reach the 100-goal mark in French football, was quoted as saying by The Mirror following the defeat of Caen. "There will be no departure. Everything is going well here at OL."
With just 10 days remaining until the close of the summer transfer window, the intense pressure on Wenger to further bolster his squad has increased following Saturday's drab goalless draw against defending champions Leicester City. The increasingly irritable Frenchman has once again attracted criticism from disgruntled supporters for bemoaning rocketing fees and the ongoing struggle to find any real value in the market, although he confirmed he is hopeful of completing ongoing negotiations to sign Valencia's Shkodran Mustafi before the deadline.
While such an arrival would help to ease a defensive injury crisis that left Calum Chambers and new signing Rob Holding as Arsenal's first-choice centre-back pairing before Laurent Koscielny's welcome return at the King Power Stadium, Arsenal would still be lacking in the final third. Alexis Sanchez has not fared well as a lone striker of late and, even when fully fit, the inconsistent Olivier Giroud tends to split opinions.