Arsenal have had their offer of €35m (£29.3m) for the Lyon striker Alexandre Lacazette turned down by the French club.
Lyon insist the France international is not for sale and denied reports that Arsenal have made a fresh, improved bid of €48m for the 25-year-old.
“Arsenal made an offer of €35m which Lyon didn’t accept for one reason alone – we will keep Alexandre Lacazette,” read a statement released by the club.
Arsenal failed in an attempt earlier this summer to sign Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy, but they are reportedly interested in signing his Leicester team-mate Riyad Mahrez as well as Lacazette. Lyon, though, are admaant that the striker is staying.
“Lacazette is one of the main leaders of Bruno Genesio’s squad,” Lyon’s statement continued. “We categorically deny having received an offer of €48m [£40.2m] from Arsenal for him, as has been reported.”
Lacazette first came to prominence in the 2014-15 season when he scored 27 league goals. He is thought to be keen on a move to the Emirates Stadium, but Lyon are under no financial pressure to sell him.
Meanwhile, Arsenal’s chief executive Ivan Gazidis believes the club now have a squad good enough to win the Premier League for the first time since 2004.
Manager Arsene Wenger did not sign a single outfield player last summer, buying goalkeeper Petr Cech from Chelsea, and added only midfielder Mohamed Elneny from Basel during the January transfer window.
This year he has brought in the Switzerland midfielder Granit Xhaka, but hopes among Arsenal fans of Wenger recruiting a big-name signing appear likely to be dashed, as Gazidis has promised more of the same.
“It’s about having a strong core philosophy and values within the club that players buy into and our fans can be proud of,”
“These are all things that lead to success, and when you look at Arsenal over the last four or five years, there’s no question that the squad has been progressing in strength.
“We’ve got a squad now that we believe is capable of competing to win the Premier League. We came in second last year, which was disappointing. But we’re on the right track.”