Arsenal have to pay EUR65m for Lacazette - Lyon president Aulas

Updated: 

Arsenal will have to pay EUR65million to buy Alexandre Lacazette and speculation the striker could move to the Premier League club is "premature", says Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas.

The prolific striker appeared set to sign for Atletico Madrid but the Court of Arbitration for Sport's decision to uphold the LaLiga club's transfer ban prevented a deal from being completed.

Reports had suggested Arsenal have become the front-runners to land Lacazette but Aulas says the Gunners must match a fee that Lyon agreed with Aleti for the France striker, who hit a career-best 28 Ligue 1 goals last season.

"I do not intend to sell Alexandre quickly, because there is always the option of Atletico Madrid signing him on January 1 2018," Aulas told L'Equipe. "I also listen to what Alexandre says.

"I saw [Arsenal manager] Arsene [Wenger] during the match between France and England. I was with [Lyon general manager] Gerard Houllier and I understand he told Gerard that there could be an interest from Arsenal.

"But it is premature to say that things will be done. It takes a very large transfer. We cannot let a player of that quality go without a replacement.

"Everyone knows Atletico were going to pay EUR53million plus a EUR12million bonus. That's EUR65 million. The Arsenal executives are well informed, they will have to be in that range."

Lacazette has scored at least 20 Ligue 1 goals in three consecutive seasons for Lyon and Aulas stressed the 26-year-old will command a big fee due to his prowess in front of goal.

"The prices for a player who scores every year between 25 and 30 goals [in all competitions], sometimes more than 30, is at least [EUR65million]," Aulas added.

"But frankly, I have not thought about Arsenal for the moment, because I thought that Alexandre would stay because of the failure, initially, with Atletico Madrid."

Lacazette's future could also hinge on Lyon's desire to sign Olivier Giroud from Arsenal, with Aulas confirming the club's interest in the Franch striker.

"There has been an approach, at some point, for Giroud," Aulas said. "He is a boy that we like, who scores lots of goals and who has a lot of ambition for Russia [the 2018 World Cup].

"He told me personally that he wanted to take his time, that things were not completely defined with Arsenal, that he hopes he would be the number one striker next season.

"The key is Arsene Wenger. We are watching. We will try to very quickly sign a top European attacker."

Liverpool have also been linked with a move for Lacazette, who has said he remains open to a switch to Atletico Madrid once the club's transfer ban expires at the end of the year.