The Hard Tackle takes a look at three potential destinations for Arsenal striker Alexandre Lacazette, with his contract set to expire in the summer.

Arsenal are staring at a complete revamp of their centre-forward options heading into the summer. Having allowed former captain Pierre-Emerick Aubamyang to leave the club for Barcelona on a free transfer in the January transfer window, the Gunners are also preparing to lose two more of their strikers at the end of the season.

Both Eddie Nketiah and Alexandre Lacazette are in the final six months of their respective contracts with the north London outfit, and a renewal is nowhere in sight. The former has refused offers from Arsenal, while talks of an extension have not been held with Lacazette, with the duo exceedingly likely to leave come summer.

Nketiah’s departure is unlikely to be felt greatly, considering he has been a marginal figure in the side under Mikel Arteta. However, Lacazette’s exit could come as a blow, especially with Arsenal already losing another seasoned campaigner in Aubameyang. The Frenchman has been at the Emirates since 2017 when he arrived from Lyon and has been a reliable operator in front of the goal.

There have been some slumps along the way, but the 30-year-old has produced a respectable tally of 70 goals and 32 assists in 192 matches for the Gunners. He was the club’s top scorer in the 2020/21 campaign and has scored five goals this term while also taking over the captain’s armband from the now-departed Aubameyang.

Given his experience at this level of playing for a top club and his impending free-agency status, several clubs are lining up to sign Lacazette up in the summer. And The Hard Tackle takes a look at three potential summer destinations for the 30-year-old when his contract with Arsenal runs out.

Atletico Madrid

The current Spanish champions have had a disappointing campaign so far, with the team struggling to perform at the expected level at both ends of the pitch. Luis Suarez is in the final stages of his career and will be on the move come summer as his contract is expiring. Antoine Griezmann has failed to deliver since returning from Barcelona, whereas fellow summer signing Matheus Cunha has been a letdown.

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Furthermore, there are serious question marks over the future of Joao Felix as well, with the Portuguese wonderkid struggling for game-time under Diego Simeone. As a result, Atletico Madrid will need to bring in at least one centre-forward in the summer, which is where Lacazette would enter the fray. The Frenchman is a player that has been on the Rojiblancos’ radars for years.

Atletico had attempted to sign Lacazette from Lyon before his transfer to Arsenal and have again shown an interest in the 30-year-old. His availability on a free transfer would only add to the appeal for the La Liga title holders, who will need funds to bolster their squad across multiple positions. Considering all factors, a move for the Arsenal striker would be a logical step for Simeone’s side.

Inter Milan

Another very realistic option for Lacazette in the summer will be reigning Italian champions Inter Milan. The Nerazzurri lost Romelu Lukaku to Chelsea in the summer transfer window but have not felt his absence thanks to the smart recruitment of veteran star Edin Dzeko. However, the former Manchester City striker will be turning 36 in a month.

Inter Milan have done well to tie down the future of Lautaro Martinez by handing him a long-term contract. However, their options beyond the pair of Dzeko and Martinez leave a lot to be desired. Joaquin Correa was signed in the summer but has flattered to deceive, while Alexis Sanchez is not a major part of the plans at San Siro and is expected to be on his way out at the end of the season.

So, it only makes sense for the Nerazzurri to pursue the signing of another proven centre-forward who can provide quality support to Martinez, making Lacazette a viable target. The 30-year-old’s track record speaks for itself while he still has plenty left to offer at the highest level. He can prove to be a handy short-term signing for the Serie A champions on a Bosman deal.

Lyon

While there has been interest from AC Milan, Barcelona and Sevilla, we decided to go with Lyon as the third potential destination for Lacazette when his contract with Arsenal runs out come summer. The Ligue 1 giants are the striker’s boyhood club, and he spent the most successful years of his career at the Groupama Stadium, producing a tally of 129 goals in over 270 appearances.

The French club are keen on re-signing their former striker and captain, with club president Jean-Michel Aulas confirming as much in a recent interview. “It’s Lacazette, he interests us because he marked this club. It’s a profile that interests us and we have always been in contact with him,” he said.

Lacazette has also previously spoken of his desire to return to his roots before hanging up his boots. With Lyon going through a difficult phase both on and off the pitch, bringing back their influential former captain could be the boost needed to turn things around for the faltering Ligue 1 heavyweights.

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