Arsenal’s new 2021/22 shirt release appears to have dropped a major hint over Alexandre Lacazette’s future.
There is huge speculation surrounding Lacazette’s next move as he has entered the final 12 months of his contract at the Emirates.
The striker, 30, has been on the club’s books since he joined for a then-club-record fee of £47.5million in 2017.
But he will depart for nothing next year unless Arsenal negotiate a new contract or offload him this summer.
Emirates chiefs are undoubtedly facing a crucial decision over Lacazette, but his appearance in the club’s shirt unveiling suggests they may have opted to keep hold of the Frenchman.
The latest reports indicate Lacazette’s wages – believed to be in the region of £182,000 per week – are thwarting a move away from north London.
That is despite interest from Sevilla, Roma and Atletico Madrid, who were linked with a bid for the Gunners ace last season.
As such, Lacazette is on course to play out a fifth and final season with Arsenal before departing on a free transfer.
That being said, manager Mikel Arteta would still leap at the chance to sell the striker in order to raise transfer funds should a suitable offer arrive.
Speaking on Reach PLC’s The Transfer Window podcast, Duncan Castles said: “A player who they (Arsenal) would like to sell and get their wages away, but they are finding very difficult to sell is Alexandre Lacazette.”
Ian McGarry added: “I have been told that Lacazette has been marketed very aggressively around Europe, but there’s not been any particular interest that is strong enough to suggest that Arsenal will be able to offload Lacazette.”
Former Arsenal striker Kevin Campbell, meanwhile, urged his old club to take a chance by keeping Lacazette – who has scored 65 goals in 170 games for the Gunners with a view to extending his contract next season.
Campbell told Football Insider : “Arsenal have shot themselves in the foot so many times over player contracts.
“I think this is a unique situation with Lacazette though. If you are not sure about which striker to bring in, you have just got to roll the dice with Lacazette’s contract.
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“They have done it in the past with (Pierre-Emerick) Aubameyang and it worked out.
“If they are not going to agree on a new deal, it is obviously something that will be addressed next summer.
“Listen, maybe they could get money for him but if he stays he will be integral to how we play next season. He did well all things considered last season.
“I have no problem with him staying and leaving on a free next summer. The Covid situation has made things difficult.”