Lyon striker Alexandre Lacazette has warned Arsenal and Liverpool he will only sign for a club playing Champions League football next season and has revealed certain expectations over the philosophy adopted by his new club. The 25-year-old has scored 31 goals in all competitions this season but is expected to leave at the end of the campaign after becoming subject to interest from clubs across Europe.
President Jean-Michel Aulas confirmed last summer that a bid worth £30.1m ($37.6m) from the Gunners had been rejected. Jurgen Klopp's side have also been linked with a move for the France international after director Bernard Lacombe admitted he expected Lacazette to leave the club in the summer.
Barcelona and Paris-Saint Germain have also been linked with a move for Lacazette, while West Ham United appeared to be leading the race for the hitman until he opted to stay with Lyon. Arsenal and Liverpool are now spearheading the pursuit from the Premier League, and the pair have been handed an insight into Lacazette's next move after he stated only sides playing top tier European football next term would come onto his radar.
"[The team I will join] will have to be in the Champions League and play good football," he said, according to ESPN, ahead of Lyon's Europa League semi-final first leg against Ajax. "Passing the ball, not just hitting it from box to box. Not kick and rush. That would not work for me."
Though Lacazette's demands are not surprising; coming from a player who is among the most-coveted in European football – it could yet signal the end of Arsenal and Liverpool's hopes of securing a deal for the forward. Neither club are assured of a place in next season's Champions League with a battle for a top four spot in the Premier League set to go to the final weeks of the season.
Victory over Watford sees Liverpool occupy one of those four berths with three games to play. Arsenal meanwhile have work to do to ensure they qualify, with six points separating them from fourth-place Manchester City though Arsene Wenger's team do have a game in hand.
But wins against Southampton, West Ham United and Middlesbrough in their final three league games will guarantee a Champions League place for Liverpool. Arsenal, who face fifth-place Manchester United this weekend, meanwhile need favours from those sides above them in the table if they're to feature in the continent's premier club competition for a 19th straight season.