Arsenal are reportedly prepared to meet Lyon striker Alexandre Lacazette's £34m ($44m) release clause. The 25-year-old France international has attracted interest from across Europe in recent months, but Arsene Wenger is apparently willing to pay the designated sum to secure Lacazette's services.
West Ham United have already made a number of unsuccessful bids for the in-demand striker, who has also been linked with a big-money move to Barcelona this summer. However, Wenger is keen to strike a deal and is willing to pay the player's release clause, according to The Telegraph.
Wenger – who has been in France covering Euro 2016 in his role as a TV pundit – reportedly used his country's recent match against the Republic of Ireland in Lyon as a chance to meet Lacazette's representatives. The Arsenal boss is desperate to add some extra firepower to his forward-line this summer, having already missed out on a £20m deal for Jamie Vardy.
Despite this, Arsenal are yet to turn their interest into a concrete offer for Lacazette, with Wenger said to be pondering other options. The Arsenal boss largely used Olivier Giroud as his first-choice striker last season, but the Frenchman was criticised for some of his performances and was even booed by Arsenal fans.
Wenger previously said he respected Vardy's decision to reject Arsenal's advances and to sign a new contract with Leicester City. "He has decided to stay at Leicester and good luck to him," Wenger said, according to beIN Sports. "He came late to the game and in fairness Leicester bought him from Fleetwood and he has been successful. He is 29 and he has chosen to stay at Leicester. You have to respect that."