Arsenal captain Alexandre Lacazette has said he is ‘in discussions with a lot of clubs’ as he prepares the Premier League club.
The striker has also revealed he didn’t expect his friendship with former teammates Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang, as he ‘didn’t like him’.
Lacazette was officially named as Gunners captain until the end of the season in February, following the removal of the armband from Aubameyang, who then left for Barcelona.
The striker has discussed the role with French outlet Canal+, but also indicated he could soon be on his way out of the Emirates.
The Frenchman’s contract in north London will expire at the end of this season and, according to the player himself, there’s plenty of interest around – particularly from former club Lyon.
“I’m in discussion with a lot of clubs, I’m open,” the 30-year-old revealed.
“I never cut contact with Lyon since I left. I try to go back to the club once or twice a year to see the medical staff because we’re really close. So yes, now Lyon know that I’m free, they’ve come by the information.
“It’s a bit more complicated [joining Lyon without European football]. I want to play in Europe. It’s been a long time since I’ve played in the Champions League too, I miss it.
“It’s a bit complicated. Nothing is impossible in life, but it’s a bit more complicated.”
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That may sound like bad news for Arsenal fans desperate to keep their current captain, but as Lacazette also revealed, he’s relishing his current role with the club.
He explained: “I’m proud [to be captain]. It’s perhaps one of the seasons where I have the most responsibility within the team.
“I think I’m mature enough now for it. I maintain a good relationship between the squad and the staff. I try to bring the most confidence possible to my partners.
“Last year, I had said to Bukayo [Saka] to play how he wants, that if we lost, I would take responsibility and that he shouldn’t worry. Then, we played a sick game and he scored. He said to me, ‘when you told me that, it really relieved me.’ So yeah, it’s nice.
“I really feel it. I also feel that they listen. When I give instructions, when I speak, I feel that they’re all attentive. But no, to be honest, it’s great. It’s a different status that I have now.”
The man Lacazette replaced as Arsenal captain, Aubameyang, has gone on to have a fine start to life in Spain.
The duo struck up a strong relationship on and off the pitch in England, which was often shown in iconic celebrations.
However, that could have easily not been the case, with Lacazette revealing first impressions weren’t good, with his Gabonese friend far different from the character we see on social media.
Lacazette said: “I had some misconceptions about him. Before he arrived, I didn’t like him.
“To be honest, I’m not mates with the Aubameyang you see on Instagram. I’m mates with Pierre-Emerick. People don’t know Pierre-Emerick. They know Aubameyang.”
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