Arsenal striker Alexandre Lacazette has joked that the next time he meets his French national teammate Antoine Griezmann, he will ask him to join the Gunners if he decides to leave Atletico Madrid next summer. The forward was very close to joining Manchester United this summer, but decided against it given Atletico's transfer ban, which would not have allowed the Spanish giants to sign a worthy replacement.
Griezmann is now Atletico's highest-paid player and among the highest paid players in the La Liga. The Frenchman has already stated that he was ready to leave Atletico in order to win titles. The Madrid club finished third in La Liga last season and exited the Champions League in the semi-final stage.
Griezmann penned a new five-year deal, but his release clause remains at €100m having labelled the prospect of leaving Atletico for United "dirty". But the 26-year-old has not ruled out eventually moving to the Premier League in 12 months' time once the transfer embargo, which is restricting Atletico's activity in the transfer window, is lifted.
Meanwhile, his arrival makes sense for Arsenal, who are set to lose their two marquee stars next summer with both Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez in their final year of contract. Lacazette signed for the Gunners this term, and has taken to the side like a fish in water, scoring four goals in the opening seven games of the league campaign.
"If he visits me in London, I'm going to ask him to sign for Arsenal," Lacazette told Match of the Day magazine, as quoted by Goal. "We're very good friends and have lots of fun. Our nicknames for each other are Griezzy and Lacaz."
On his initial thoughts on Arsenal and England, he added, "I like London, but the weather isn't great! I'm having English lessons at the moment. Someone told me to avoid English food as it's not very good for footballers.
"The main difference between here and France is there are a lot of very good strikers here – Harry Kane, Romelu Lukaku, Sergio Aguero, Gabriel Jesus, Jamie Vardy, Alvaro Morata. It's going to be a challenge to win the Golden Boot!"