Lyon preparing to sell striker Alexandre Lacazette to Atletico Madrid
LYON, France (AP) – Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas is preparing to sell top scorer Alexandre Lacazette and says the player has a verbal agreement to join Spanish club Atletico Madrid.
The 25-year-old Lacazette has two years remaining on his contract but has made it clear he wants to leave.
''Alex has a verbal agreement with one club, Atletico. We have accepted Alex's demand to speak exclusively with this club,'' Aulas said after Saturday's season-ending 3-3 home draw with Nice. ''But the quid pro quo of this exclusivity is that the transfer is done on our terms. For the time being, after two direct contacts, the offer is not completely in line with what we wish for.''
The 25-year-old Lacazette scored twice on Saturday for a personal best tally of 28 league goals in a season. He also reached 100 league goals for Lyon and 129 overall since coming through the club's youth academy and making his debut during the 2009-10 campaign.
''I think it's the right time (to leave). I want to discover something new, test myself and go up a level,'' Lacazette was quoted as saying Saturday in L'Equipe magazine. ''I want to see if I can answer the questions people are asking of me and keep improving.''
Lacazette, who has scored 76 league goals in the past three seasons, is also close friends with Atletico top scorer Antoine Griezmann.
However, it remains to be seen whether Champions League semifinalist Atletico can actually sign Lacazette this summer.
Atletico is challenging a FIFA transfer ban that prevents the club from signing any players in the coming offseason.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport is hearing the appeal, but said a verdict is not expected immediately.
Atletico and FIFA previously agreed to seek a CAS verdict by June, before the summer trading period opens.