Lyon chief confirms phone call with Arsenal’s Lacazette to discuss transfer

Lyon sporting director Juninho Pernambucano has revealed he held discussions with Alexandre Lacazette about returning to the French club.

The striker left the Groupama Stadium in 2017 to join the Gunners in a £42.5m deal.

But the arrival of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang six months later has seen him play second fiddle to the Gabon star.

Lacazette scored 12 times last year with several of his appearances coming from the bench.

And Juninho had looked to take advantage of the 29-year-old's situation at the Emirates by bringing him back to Lyon on loan.

He said: “That is not our level in terms of contract. For the majority of these players… In January I called Alexandre Lacazette to chat a bit with him.

"He was having problems at Arsenal and I said to myself: 'Why not do a loan for 6 months with us where you will enjoy yourself, play all the games and score the goals like you know how to? And then you go back to Arsenal or somewhere else.'"

Lacazette admitted earlier this year that this had been his most challenging year in north London.

The striker has had to deal with an injury set back but also had to deal with a lack of minutes at times.

He said: "At Arsenal, yes [it has been his hardest season]. The injury hung around longer than I thought (to his ankle) and it affected me.

"Afterwards, I had this period without scoring, so certainly it wasn’t easy for me, but I still learned a lot this season, because mentally it was not easy. The difficulties this season are going to serve me well in the future.

"Certainly, it is not nice to be on the bench. At the same time, in my life I have had moments that were a lot more complicated and I did not doubt myself.

"It wasn’t really doubt, it was more unhappiness, like every player who is on the bench and wants to play."

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