Arsenal sign Lacazette for record $68m
ARSENAL signalled their intention to make an immediate return to the Premier League's elite by paying a club record 60 million euros ($68 million) to sign Lyon striker Alexandre Lacazette, one of Europe's most prolific players in recent years.
Arsenal said on their website yesterday that 26-year-old Lacazette "has agreed to join us on a long-term contract, for an undisclosed fee".
However, Lyon confirmed the figure of 60 million euros in a statement, with the amount exceeding the estimated 50 million euros that Arsenal paid to Real Madrid for playmaker Mesut Ozil in 2013.
Arsenal said Lacazette is expected to travel with the tour party to Sydney this weekend and will likely make his home debut in the Emirates Cup on July 29 or July 30.
"I am of course delighted and very proud too because Arsenal is a legendary club," Lacazette told the club's website. "Throughout my childhood, thanks to Thierry Henry and other French players, I always dreamed of playing for this club so today that dream has been fulfilled.
"Arsenal is also the club which plays the best football in England, so I really wanted to come here."
Lacazette had two years remaining on his Lyon contract but made it clear he wanted to leave after the seven-time French champions failed to qualify for the Champions League. He was expected to join Atletico Madrid but the move fell through after the Spanish club's transfer ban was upheld by the Court of Arbitration for Sport last month.
Ironically, Arsenal has also missed out on Champions League football for the first time since 1997 and will play in the Europa League next season.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger hopes the arrival of Lacazette will help his side to mount a title bid after finishing a disappointing fifth in the Premier League last season.