Arsenal are thought to be closing on a club record £44million deal or Alexandre Lacazette, a capture which would likely end their pursuit of Kylian Mbappe.
Rated as the hottest young property in world football, the race to sign Mbappe is sure to be the most intriguing story of the summer transfer window. Real Madrid are said to be in pole position to take the teenager for a world record fee of around £109million, but there had been strong reports that the Gunners would also make an unlikely challenge for the France international.
Even without the promise of UEFA Champions League football for the coming season, Arsene Wenger was reportedly willing to offer the 19-year-old a regular and central role in his starting eleven at the Emirates Stadium. However, it is now expected that his interest in the Monaco star will be shelved as he instead closes in on a club record deal for Lyon striker Lacazette.
It has been reported that the Arsenal boss is willing to pay £44million for Lacazette, which would surpass the £42.5million the club paid Real for Mesut Ozil in 2013. The 26-year-old has spent his entire career at his hometown club, and has scored a century of goals in 203 league appearances for the Parc Olympique Lyonnais outfit, including 28 in 30 as they finished fourth last term.
The France international, who has one goal in 11 appearances for his club, was all set for a move to Atletico Madrid earlier this summer, a move which was expected to result in Antoine Griezmann leaving Los Rojiblancos for Manchester United. But a ban has scuppered all transfer activities at the Spanish club until January, which looks likely to be to the benefit of Wenger.
After finishing outside of the top-four for the first time since he arrived in the capital way back in 1996, the pressure will be on the French coach as soon as the first ball of the new season is kicked. There is expected to be several changes in the playing personnel of his squad this summer, although so far he has added just fullback Sead Kolasinac from Schalke on a free transfer.