Lyon refute reports they have received a second bid from Arsenal for striker Alexandre Lacazette
PUBLISHED: 18:35 26 July 2016 | UPDATED: 18:35 26 July 2016
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Lyon have refuted reports that they have received a second bid from Arsenal for star striker Alexandre Lacazette.
The French club, who were runners-up in Ligue 1 last season, confirmed on Tuesday that they had rejected the Gunners’ initial offer of almost £30m for the player.
And Lyon made it clear that they have no intention – or need – to sell Lacazette, who has scored more than 80 goals in their colours as well as winning 10 full caps for France.
“Arsenal made an offer of 35 million euros which Lyon didn’t accept for one reason alone – we will keep Alexandre Lacazette,” read a statement from the club.
“Lacazette is one of the main leaders of [coach] Bruno Genesio’s squad. We categorically deny having received an offer of 48 million euros from Arsenal for him, as has been reported.”
That suggests Arsenal’s attempts to strengthen their forward line before the start of the new season remain fruitless, having already been rebuffed by Leicester and England striker Jamie Vardy.
Meanwhile, the Gunners flew to California earlier this week with several absences from their squad to take on the MLS All-Stars and Chivas in friendlies.
Recent signing Rob Holding is expected to make his Arsenal debut during the tour, given that the first three names on their list of central defenders are all unavailable.
Per Mertesacker picked up a knee injury in the 1-1 draw against Lens last week, while Gabriel has tonsillitis and Laurent Koscielny is one of four players to be given time off following the European Championship.
His France international team-mate Olivier Giroud, Germany’s Mesut Ozil and Wales midfielder Aaron Ramsey – who all featured in the latter stages of the tournament – are sitting out the trip to California.
Alexis Sanchez also misses out due to an ankle problem, but the Gunners’ main summer signing, Swiss midfielder Granit Xhaka, is set to make his first appearance since joining the club from Borussia Moenchengladbach.
They take on the All-Stars side in San Jose tomorrow morning (kick-off 1am BST), then meet Chivas in Los Angeles on Tuesday (2am) before travelling to Scandinavia for further warm-up games against Viking FK Stavanger and Manchester City.
Gunners boss Arsene Wenger said of Holding, who was Bolton’s player of the season: “He’s a young, promising centre-back.
“You don’t find centre-backs that often and we can educate them when they’re at that age. We can give them all the ingredients we think are important.
“Krystian Bielik is developing well now and he can also be used as a central midfielder, so overall it’s an opportunity I wanted to take because that’s a difficult position to find nowadays.”