Alexandre Lacazette Denies He Could Leave Arsenal; Aubameyang Contract Discussed


Arsenal's French striker Alexandre Lacazette (L) celebrates with Arsenal's Gabonese striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (R) after scoring their fourth goal during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Newcastle United at the Emirates Stadium in London on February 16, 2020. - Arsenal won the game 4-0. (Photo by Ian KINGTON / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. /  (Photo by IAN KINGTON/AFP via Getty Images)

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Alexandre Lacazette has denied reports he could move on from Arsenal if the team do not qualify for the UEFA Champions League, while the club are reportedly attempting to extend Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s stay. 

According to The Times‘ Gary Jacob (h/t Metro), Lacazette has an “understanding” that he can leave Arsenal this summer if they don’t secure qualification to Europe’s premier competition this season.

However, when the report was put to him at a press conference on Wednesday, he said:

Arsenal signed the Frenchman from Lyon in 2017 for a then-club-record £46.5 million. He is yet to play Champions League football with the Gunners, who have been plying their trade in the UEFA Europa League since he joined.

The 28-year-old contributed 36 goals and 18 assists over his first two seasons at the Emirates Stadium, but he has struggled for form in this campaign with only eight and three to his name, respectively.

He has over two years left on his contract and appears content to stay, though, so the club may as well give him until the end of next season to get back to his best before making a decision on his future.

Convincing Aubameyang to sign a new contract might require Champions League football, though.

According to Jacob, the club are reopening contract talks—which were shelved during the managerial changeover in November and December after Unai Emery was sacked and Mikel Arteta brought in—as Aubameyang’s deal expires in 2021.

He arrived at the club in January 2018 with his £56 million transfer fee overtaking Lacazette’s as the club’s record at the time.

The 30-year-old has 60 goals and 13 assists to his name in 95 appearances for the club.

He netted twice as Arsenal beat Everton 3-2 on Sunday:

After the match, Arteta expressed hope the Gabon striker will remain with the club, per Goal’s Charles Watts:

The Gunners reached the Europa League final last season, which they lost to London rivals Chelsea, but to keep a player of Aubameyang’s calibre they’ll likely need to show they can offer silverware and Champions League football.

Arsenal remain in the FA Cup and the Europa League this season. Winning the latter would meet both of those needs at the same time.

Despite picking up just 37 points in 27 Premier League matches, they’re still in with a chance of securing Champions League qualification via their league finish.

Fifth place could suffice this season because second-place Manchester City have been banned from European competition, and Arsenal are only four points behind the occupants of that position, Manchester United. However, City will have their appeal heard at the Court of Arbitration for Sport this summer.

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