Alexandre Lacazette move to Arsenal a matter of 'when, not if'

Lyon's French forward Alexandre Lacazette (L) celebrates after scoring a goal during the French L1 football match Olympique Lyonnais (OL) vs Marseille (OM)
Image: Arsenal look set to sign Lyon striker Alexandre Lacazette

Arsenal are close to signing Lyon striker Alexandre Lacazette, and it is a matter of 'when, not if', according to Sky sources.

Arsenal's opening bid of £39m was turned down last month, but significant progress has been made in talks between the clubs.

Sources close to the France international are sure a deal worth more than £50m including add-ons will be concluded, despite Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas declaring earlier this week he expected Lacazette to remain at the club.

Lacazette has emerged as one of Arsene Wenger's primary transfer targets this summer as Arsenal try to put last season's failure to qualify for the Champions League behind them.

Olivier Giroud found his opportunities limited at Arsenal last season
Image: Lyon's president has expressed an interest in signing Arsenal's Olivier Giroud

Last month, Lacazette said he would only move to a club who are playing in Europe's premier club competition but it appears the 26-year-old's stance on the matter has softened.

The free-scoring striker netted 37 times in 45 games last season and has two years left on his existing Lyon deal.

Lacazette had verbally agreed to join Atletico Madrid this summer but the move fell through after the Court of Arbitration for Sport confirmed on June 1 that Atletico would be banned from registering players during this window.

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Lacazette boasted the highest chance conversion rate in Europe's top five leagues last season (38.9 per cent). His record of 28 league goals last term was more than the combined tally of Arsenal quartet Olivier Giroud, Theo Walcott, Danny Welbeck and Lucas Perez.

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