Man United eye shock summer move for No.1 Arsenal target

Manchester United have reportedly set their sights on Alexandre Lacazette and are set to battle Arsenal for the Lyon striker in the summer.

French publication L’Equipe have reported that Manchester United have identified Alexandre Lacazette as a backup target should they fail to land Alvaro Morata. The Red Devils have joined Premier League rivals, Arsenal in the race to sign the Lyon striker in the summer transfer window.

Lacazette progressed through the ranks at Lyon before making the senior cut in 2010. In the last seven years, the player has grown leaps and bounds to establish himself as a key figure in Les Gones‘ first-team setup while also becoming a full-fledged member of the French national side.

In fact, Lacazette has been one of the most prolific players in Ligue 1 in the last few seasons, and 2016/17 was no different. The 26-year-old made 45 appearances in all competitions for Lyon in the recently concluded season with an impressive return of 37 goals and 5 assists to show for his efforts.

After spending his entire career so far with Lyon, though, Lacazette is eager to leave his boyhood club for a fresh challenge. In fact, the player looked set to join Atletico Madrid this summer before the club’s ban on transfer activities scuppered the deal.

With Los Rojiblancos bowing out of the race to sign to sign Lacazette, Arsenal have taken the lead in the race to sign him in the summer, as per reports. The Gunners have been in search of a reliable goalscorer ever since the departure of Robin van Persie in 2012.

While Olivier Giroud boasts a decent scoring rate for the North London club, he doesn’t complement Arsene Wenger’s system due to his lack of pace. Meanwhile, Danny Welbeck has been troubled by a spate of injuries during his Arsenal career which have restricted his game time significantly.

Alexis Sanchez did turn out to be a revelation for Arsenal as the side’s centre-forward, but Wenger has chosen to play him behind the striker in his new system. Thus, Lacazette has reportedly been identified as a player who can become the prolific goalscorer that the Frenchman has been looking for.

Arsenal, though, face stiff competition for Lacazette in the form of Manchester United, who are in desperate need of a quality striker themselves. Zlatan Ibrahimovic was recently released by the Red Devils after he sustained a long-term injury, leaving Jose Mourinho with Marcus Rashford as his only recognised option up front.

The Manchester United boss has, therefore, been scouting top strikers in Europe, with Alvaro Morata believed to be his top target. Mourinho, though, is keeping his options open should he fail to land the Real Madrid striker and he has, thus, set his sights on Lacazette.

The report adds that while Arsenal remain the front-runners in the race to sign the France international, Manchester United have also been in touch with his representatives over a possible transfer.

At 26, the player can offer the best years of his career to both the Premier League clubs, making him an ideal target to pursue this summer. However, Manchester United might hold the aces in Lacazette’s pursuit as they can offer him Champions League football.

A possible move for Lacazette only hinges on their failure to land Morata and so, Arsenal remain in the driver’s seat to sign the French striker. It now remains to be seen how things develop as the 26-year-old edges closer to a move away from Lyon.

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