London (AFP) – Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta says Alexandre Lacazette’s future will be addressed at the end of the season, with reports of interest in the forward from a number of European clubs.
The 29-year-old Frenchman has scored in each of his past two Premier League outings, including the winner in the north London derby against Tottenham.
He is on course for his most prolific top-flight campaign since arriving from Lyon in 2017, having struck 11 times in the league ahead of Saturday’s clash with Liverpool.
Lacazette’s contract is up next year and several clubs including Serie A side Roma and Spanish team Atletico Madrid have been linked with moves for him.
“I’m always happy when people talk about our players and speculate — that means they are doing well and getting attention from other clubs,” Arteta said on Thursday.
“The situation with ‘Laca’ we will address in the summer, speak to him and just propose the future we want and that’s it. Now I just want players focused and only focused on performing and getting the best out of them for the team.”
Arsenal have been criticised in the past for handing lucrative contracts to players in the latter stages of their careers.
Former Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil, 32, who agreed a bumper new deal in 2018, became a peripheral squad member, while 31-year-old captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang struggled to impress earlier this season following an extension to his contract.
Asked about the balance between offering big contracts to senior players and having room to bring through youngsters, Arteta said: “Everything is related to where we are, how much we win and where we are playing next season.
“There are no exceptions and we all need to be clear with that and more with the context we have right now in our industry.”
Arsenal are ninth in the table, nine points adrift of the top four. Winning the Europa League appears to be their best chance of securing a Champions League return.
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