Lacazette headed for Arsenal exit as Arteta targets two Premier League stars
Arsenal have a two-man shortlist of Premier League stars to replace Alexandre Lacazette who is nearing a move away from north London.
Lacazette is into the last season of his contract, on a reported £180,000 a week, and is yet to have been offered a new deal to extend his stay.
However, he could leave as soon as the January transfer window, if a replacement signing is possible, as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang remains the only other senior forward at the club.
And on the back of a summer spending spree in the region of £150million, owner Stan Kroenke will surely be looking to see some funds come in before outlaying even more.
Lacazette to move on?
Lacazette signed for the North London side from Lyon in 2017, and has provided a steady goal return ever since.
That said, at 30-years-of age, and with Mikel Arteta's tendency to put his faith in youngsters, a more long-term solution is wanted at the Emirates.
As such, Calvert-Lewin and Watkins, at 24 and 25 respectively, are a perfect match as strikers that can contribute to the team immediately but also have age on their side.
Arsenal continue to have a big number 9 dilemma. Aubameyang provides the movement in the box to finish off moves but lacks decent link-up play to build attacks. Lacazette has the link-up play but lacks the movement in the box. Arsenal ideally need a striker who has both traits.— Premier League Panel (@PremLeaguePanel) October 2, 2021
But, the largest stumbling block in the way of a potential deal, of course, is the transfer fee that those players would command.
Both Everton and Aston Villa are financially secure and therefore have no reason to sell besides an offer too good to refuse - like that of Jack Grealish in his £100m switch to Manchester City.
Fees of upwards of £50m could be desired, meaning a January offer is highly unlikely and, rather, Arteta could be made to wait until the 2022/23 campaign to work with another one of his targets.
Instead, the more plausible situation is that Lacazette sees out the end of his current contract, understudying Aubameyang, while Arsenal work behind the scenes in preparation for a move for a replacement.