Atletico Madrid open talks for Arsenal’s Lacazette, open to player swap deal

Atletico Madrid have contacted Arsenal over a summer transfer for striker Alexandre Lacazette and are open to a player-exchange deal.

That is according to a report in French outlet L’Equipe, who say that Italian duo Juventus and Inter – the latter of whom are seeking out alternative strikes should Lautaro Martinez leave the club, amid Barcelona interest – are also in the running for the striker.

The front page of an edition of Diario AS in May stated that Atleti were keen on the Frenchman, and were willing to offer their out-of-favour forward Thomas Lemar in a player-swap deal.

However, the Madrid-based club’s midfielder Thomas Partey may be the player who swaps the Spanish capital for North London.

Last week, The Athletic’s David Ornstein reported that the Gunners were ‘intensifying their interest’ in the player while Diario AS said the player’s wages would be tripled by a move to Arsenal.

In the summer of 2017, there was total agreement between Lacazette, Atletico and Olympique Lyonnais for the transfer but the deal never went through.

That was due to Atleti’s transfer ban at the time, which ensured that the striker instead moved to North London – where he has netted 46 goals in two and a half seasons since, spread across 120 appearances.

Back in January Marca reported on interest from Diego Simeone’s side in the France international, although no move materialised.

There are long-term doubts over Diego Costa’s future in the Spanish capital and Lacazette could be a replacement.

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