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Arsenal: Lacazette boost; Barcelona star linked; another target missed

Lyon manager Bruno Gresio has admitted that Alexandre Lacazette could be allowed to leave Lyon this summer, possibly handing Arsenal a boost in their pursuit of the player.

Quoted in the Daily Express today, Gresio said: “He can leave if Lyon want him to. There are some offers you cannot refuse.”

Lyon’s stance appears to have softened since last week’s statement on the club’s Twitter account detailing a £29.3 million Arsenal bid, and describing Lacazette as ‘irreplaceable’.

Arsenal are yet to make a second move for the striker, which gives the impression that Arsene Wenger and his staff feel they can do better.

Lacazette, who scored 21 Ligue 1 goals last season, has been on the radar of Premier league clubs for well over a year now and if Wenger and Arsenal really fancied him they might have bought him by now.

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The French forward is viewed very much as an ‘if all else fails’ option, with some Arsenal fans hoping movement in the market makes a genuine top-class talent available; just like Real Madrid’s purchase of Gareth Bale freed up Mesut Ozil in 2013.

That required a long and anxious wait until the close of the window, and with Wenger describing the window as a ‘poker game’ he might be prepared to wait again.

Elsewhere, Catalan newspaper Sport are linking Arsenal with a move for former captain Thomas Vermaelen who has struggled to establish himself at Barcelona.

Arsenal are actively looking for an centre-back following the loss of Per Mertesacker to a knee ligament injury and and the newspaper claims Arsenal are considering Vermaelen.

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The move would not be very popular among Arsenal fans, but there are also practical objections.

Firstly, Vermaelen has suffered badly with injuries in recent seasons and Arsenal certainly do not need another injury prone on their books.

Secondly, during his time at Arsenal, Vermaelen struggled to establish an effective partnership with Laurent Koscielny because their similar style of defending was not complementary.

Finally, Toulouse manager Pacal Dupraz has claimed that Arsenal were interested in striker Wissam Ben Yedder before he moved to Sevilla.

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25-year-old Ben Yedder scored 17 league goals for Toulouse last season, and there is no reason for Dupraz to lie in this instance.

Some Arsenal supporters will be aggrieved the player wasn’t pursued further, but it seems Wenger is keen to bring in an ‘off-the-shelf’ player rather than gamble on potential.

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