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Arsenal transfer news: Barcelona plan shock swoop for Gunners star

Alexandre Lacazette
(Image credit: Getty)

Barcelona want Arsenal star Alexandre Lacazette to join the club when his contract expires next summer, according to reports.

Lacazette joined Arsenal back in 2018 from Olympique Lyonnais for a then-record fee but has struggled to produce consistently since. The Frenchman's contract at the Emirates is up next summer - but there has been talk of an extension.

Mikel Arteta looked to have moved on from his no.9, after Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang emerged as the first-choice striker this season but following a strong substitute performance at home to Crystal Palace - in which Lacazette fired up the crowd with a gesture and then scored an equaliser - the Arsenal boss has moved to a front two to get both strikers in the side. 

The forward is one of a few older heads in the Gunners' side - but Barcelona are said to want to offer him a contract.

Club legend Xavi has just been installed as manager at the Catalan giants and has a rebuilding job on his hands with very little money to spend. Barca's options up front are extremely limited, too.

Sergio Aguero - another free signing from the Premier League last summer - has just been ruled out for a number of months, following breathing difficulties recently. Luuk De Jong and Martin Braithwaite are the other two conventional striking options, while Memphis Depay and Ansu Fati can both be used as false nines.

Lacazette is a traditional no.9 but under Arteta especially, has showed the ability to hold up the ball and link play with other players around him. Though his mobility is an issue, he's extremely dangerous in the penalty area.

He also has leadership attributes, though, and has captained the north Londoners often in Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's absence during his time in England.

The Frenchman will be 31 when his contract ends at the Emirates. He and teammate Aubameyang, 32, are the elder statesmen in a very young Arsenal team, who have moved more towards a model of signing players under 24. 

Eddie Nketiah is 22 and Gabriel Martinelli 20 - both options in attack for the Gunners - while Folarin Balogun is 20 years old. Emile Smith Rowe is 21 and Bukayo Saka 20, giving Arteta plenty of starlets to choose from for forward roles.

In recent weeks, the Gunners have also been linked with Fiorentina star Dusan Vlahovic, who's 21 years old. 

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