Arsenal have stepped up their interest in signing Lyon striker Alexandre Lacazette after being snubbed in their pursuit of Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy. The 29-year-old signed a new long- term contract with the Champions and ended the Gunners' hope of alleviating their problems up front.
The Mirror reports that they will face competition from London rivals West Ham, who have already had a £42m ($57.5m) bid rejected for the player. Lyon are holding out for a fee in the range of £45m ($61.5m) with Spanish giants Atletico Madrid also willing to match that fee in a bid to bring the Frenchman to their ranks.
Atletico failed to win the Champions League yet again after falling to arch rivals Real Madrid in the space of three years in the finals of the most coveted club competition in Europe. Tottenham are also interested in the striker and have expressed interest in bringing the Frenchman to north London.
Arsene Wenger has made signing a striker his priority this summer and has the finances to match any fee that Lyon are willing to negotiate on. The 25-year-old has scored 21 goals in 34 starts for Lyon and is the ideal man to provide competition to Olivier Giroud, who went a long stretch of games last season without scoring in the league.
Lacazette has three years left on his contract and Lyon are under no obligation to sell which has bumped up the prices for the forward. Meanwhile, time is running out for Wenger, who is entering his last year in his contract and can potentially extend his barren run in the league to 13 years should he fail to win the title next season.
The Frenchman has, however, hinted that he may make a move for another Leicester star after being snubbed by Vardy, with N'Golo Kante a potential recruit for next season. The midfielder was among Leicester's best players last season and made his way to the Team of the Year following his performances over the course of the season.
"It is very difficult to talk about that at the moment. Kante is on the list of many clubs. It is an area where we have many players," Arsenal manager said.
"We will see what happens in the next two or three weeks. It looks like Leicester have bought a player from Nice [Nampalys Mendy] with similar qualities to Kante, so whether they envisage to lose him or not I don't know.
"If you ask 100 people in the street if they want Kante to play [for France] you will get 100 saying yes. He has done the job in one or two games and I am not surprised," he added.
"I said two months ago this boy will play the whole European Championship. We know him well from Leicester now and I am not surprised that he is starting. He has been one of the revelations of the French team."