Football

Arsenal ready to break club record for Lyon striker Lacazette

Arsenal have stepped up their efforts to sign Lyon striker Alexandre Lacazette.

Sky Sports News HQ understands the deal will see Arsenal shatter the club-record fee of £42.5 million (S$76.1m) they shelled out to sign Mesut Oezil four years ago.

Sources close to the France international are confident a deal worth more than £50m including add-ons will be concluded, despite Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas declaring earlier this week that 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.

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 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.

Lacazette boasted the highest chance conversion rate of 38.9 per cent in Europe's top five leagues last season.

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.

Meanwhile, Manchester City's signing of teenager Benjamin Garre will be heard by the Court of Arbitration for Sport today.

City signed Garre at the age of 16, but the teenager's Argentine club Velez Sarsfield claimed the move breached world governing body Fifa's rules over the signing of minors from outside the European Union.

Velez appealed to the CAS after Fifa ruled in City's favour following a complaint about Garre's move to the Premier League club in July 2016.

The Argentine outfit claim Fifa rules allow players under 18 to move between clubs only in European countries.

City argued Garre held an Italian passport and was entitled to move after his 16th birthday.

Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid have all been subjected to transfer bans in the past few years after being found guilty of breaching rules around the signing of international players under the age of 18.

It is understood it could be several weeks before there is an outcome from the CAS hearing. - PA SPORT

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