You’d be mistaken for thinking the transfer window is already open, right? We’re being bombarded with rumours on a daily basis to the point where it feels like deadline day is just around the corner.
That is no different with Arsenal, who despite their Premier League disarray appear to be, well, in even more disarray.
Worries over the futures of so many of their star players continue to swirl as everyone from Pierre-Emerick Aubamayang to Hector Bellerin gets linked with a move away from north London. It’s a defender and forward once again making the headlines, with mixed results depending on your opinion of the pair.
A key figure all season despite fairly comprehensive criticism and a striker who has endured his least prolific campaign since joining the club. So, what are the developments? Let’s see.
He may have only joined last summer, but Luiz’s initial one-year deal with the Gunners is due to run out at the end of the season and talk of a move away has surfaced.
There is an extra year option the Gunners can take in his deal, but Luiz himself discussed that it would be his ‘dream’ to return to former club Benfica – with no talks held with Arsenal about an extension yet.
One would expect that Arsenal would be keen on exercising that extra year, but given Luiz’s comments they might be hard pressed to convince him to stay.
Should he return to Portugal then he would be required to take a hit on his wage packet; a £38k-per-week hit to be precise. That’s the line coming from the Mirror, who state his wages would be slashed by more than half, with the reason for being Benfica’s £32k-per-week salary cap.
Luiz said recently that he has even opened discussions with his former side, making no bones about his intentions.
“I have already spoken with Vieira about the return. My dream is to end my career at Benfica. When, I don’t know, but it will happen,” he said. “It will, if president Vieira allows me – and if the fans want me to come back. It will be one of the most beautiful moments of my career.”
As one of the few players in the Arsenal squad who would command a decent transfer fee, naturally Lacazette’s name has been linked with sides across Europe. There has been talk of a move to Atlético Madrid, who were within a whisker of signing him in 2017 before their transfer ban opened the door for Arsenal, and the latest to crop up is Inter.
Lautaro Martinez is widely expected to join Barcelona when the window opens, leaving Antonio Conte to scout around for a replacement. He’s targeted Lacazette as a viable option, yet it appears he’s not convinced by the idea as L’Equipe (via football.london) state that the French striker is not enticed by Conte’s project.
With the financial implications of the coronavirus halting football set to have a significant impact on the spending power of sides across Europe, Inter could be one of the few available able to afford the 29-year-old. They’ll have money spend from Martinez’s sale, unlike many others.
Yet it could be a matter of forcing the hand, as it were. Arsenal know they boast precious few players of worth, and with the club struggling for finances – even with Covid-19 aside – it could be one of a limited number of opportunities for them to secure a cash injection.
Lacazette has just over two years remaining on his current deal, with a new contract set to follow should Arsenal not sell up. However, if he opts against penning a new contract, then they could risk selling him for a much lower fee in 2021.