Alexandre Lacazette has played down speculation that he could be used in a swap deal for Atletico Madrid star Thomas Partey this summer and insists he’s determined to see out the final two years of his contract at Arsenal.
The 29-year-old attacker scored just 12 goals in all competitions for the Gunners last season and Mikel Arteta is open to offloading him to raise funds for further signings.
Adding quality to Arsenal’s midfield options remains Arteta’s priority, with Atletico’s Partey and Lyon’s Houssem Aouar both discussed, but the north London club have been frustrated with their attempts to strengthen in this area.
Atleti have long been admirers of Lacazette and reports in Spain suggested Arsenal tried to use this to their advantage to convince them to part with Partey in a potential part-exchange agreement.
But Lacazette, confident he remains a key part of Arteta’s plans, appears to have ruled out a move away from the Emirates before next month’s deadline.
‘If this is true, no, it does not please me,’ Lacazette told L’Equipe when asked about rumours of a swap deal involving him and Partey.
‘But what matters is the choice of the coach [Mikel Arteta] and his confidence.
‘He’s the one who makes the team, not the managers upstairs in the offices, and I know I have his confidence.
‘I’m at Arsenal, I signed a five-year contract to progress and win titles. I have two years left. I am determined to stay.’
At his press conference on Friday, Arteta played down rumours of a possible move for Lacazette and insisted the forward was still ‘really happy’ to be at Arsenal.
‘He is really happy here, he wants to keep improving and contributing to the team,’ the Arsenal head coach said.
‘I know how good he is, the impact he is having.
‘He knows about the competition he has with the front players, and again he needs to demand of himself to be the best striker at this football club, the same as the rest.
‘He was very happy to hear that and the way he has been training and conducting himself has been excellent.
‘Yes, I think he is very happy here. That is my feeling and what I got from that message.’