Lacazette hurt over Lyon president divulging contract details
PARIS (AP) — Alexandre Lacazette looks a shadow of the player who was banging in goals for Lyon last season.
In his defense, the France international has been hampered by back pain as he managed just one goal in six league games so far. But the main reason behind his lack of cutting edge, which is worrying Lyon fans ahead of Tuesday's reception of Valencia in the Champions League, lies somewhere else in the back of his mind.
The 24-year-old striker feels he has been betrayed by the club he has been playing for since he was a 10-year-old boy.
In an interview with L'Equipe newspaper on Monday, Lacazette said he was hurt by Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas's decision to speak publicly about the details of their contract negotiations this summer.
"Maybe things will get better after this interview," said Lacazette, the league's best scorer last season with 27 goals. "It affects you. You want to think about something else but you just can't."
Lacazette was involved in tough negotiations with Aulas, who said last June he had offered a gross salary of four million euros ($4.42 million) a year to keep his star player. Lacazette, who expected more money, finally agreed on a contract extension until 2019 with an annual salary of 4.2 million euros ($4.7 million).
"I would have preferred that he did just like in any negotiations," Lacazette said. "He could have told me 'This is too much.' He should not have used that method that makes me look like someone I'm not."
After Aulas' comments became public, Lacazette said he had to justify himself to his family, because his grandmother struggled to understand how he could "spit on as much money."
Lacazette, whose technical skills prompted interest from big European clubs such as Manchester City and Arsenal last season, also rued the lack of public support from coach Hubert Fournier after he missed a penalty against Gent as Lyon settled for a 1-1 draw against the Belgian side in their Champions League opener.