Olympique Lyonnais is getting closer to completing a return transfer for French international Alexandre Lacazette. Lacazette is out of contract this month of June and Lyon president Aulas says they will do their best to have Lacazette return to Les Gones.
Arsenal is aware and informed by Lacazette about his future with Lyon. There seem to be no further contract renegotiations between Arsenal and Lacazette, which makes Lyon’s move more probable.
UPDATE: Lacazette officially signed and passed his medical with Lyon. Transfer complete. June 8, 2022
Lacazette was born in Lyon, to a family of Guadeloupean origin. He is the youngest of four boys. One of his brothers, Benoît, played in the Swiss second division and French fourth division and was the coach in the Lyon futsal club: Lyon Footzik Futsal. His cousin, Romuald, is also a professional footballer and plays as a central midfielder.
Upon his arrival at the club, Lacazette began training at the Centre Tola Vologe, the club’s training center. While undergoing training, he was likened to former Lyon striker Sonny Anderson by many coaches, including the player himself. As a youth player, Lacazette played in the club’s under-18 team that finished in third place in the Championnat National des moins de 18 ans during the 2007–08 season. The following season, he began making appearances for the club’s Championnat de France Amateur (CFA) reserve team, scoring five goals in 19 CFA matches. In the 2009–10 season, Lacazette had a stellar campaign in the CFA, scoring 12 goals in 22 appearances.
During the second half of the 2009–10 Ligue 1 season, he was called up to the first team by manager Claude Puel and appeared on the bench in the team’s 1–0 victory over Montpellier on 2 May 2010. Three days later, Lacazette made his first-team debut in a Ligue 1 home match against Auxerre. On 3 July 2010, Lacazette signed his first professional contract agreeing to a three-year deal. Due to still having another year left on his aspirant (youth) contract, the contract would start on 1 July 2011.
Lacazette’s successful campaign in the 2010 UEFA European Under-19 Championship saw the player draw interest from Italian club Roma. He also drew praise from the media, alongside international teammates Yannis Tafer and Clément Grenier, for his dedication to the club after playing in the pre-season 2010 Emirates Cup match hours after playing in the final of the 2010 UEFA European Under-19 Football Championship. Lacazette began the 2010–11 season training full-time with the first team. He scored 6 goals in 12 2010–11 CFA matches for the club’s reserve team. He scored his first competitive goal for the first team on 30 October in a Ligue 1 home match against Sochaux. His goal in the 69th minute gave Lyon a 2–1 lead, which would be the final score. Three days later, Lacazette made his European club competition debut against the Portuguese club Benfica in a 2010–11 UEFA Champions League Group B away match, appearing as a substitute in the second half with Lyon trailing 4–0. Minutes after coming onto the pitch, he assisted Lyon’s opening goal, scored by Yoann Gourcuff in the 75th minute. He also assisted Lyon’s second goal, scored by Bafétimbi Gomis in the 85th minute. Lyon, however, were unable to complete the comeback, losing 4–3. On 7 December, Lacazette scored the first European club competition goal of his career in Lyon’s final Group B match, the 88th-minute equaliser in the 2–2 home draw against Israeli club Hapoel Tel Aviv.
Lacazette scored Lyon’s only goal in the 2014 Coupe de la Ligue Final against Paris Saint-Germain; however his side lost 2–1.
In September 2014, Lacazette signed a two-year extension to his contract, tying him to the club until 2018. He scored his first hat-trick on 5 October 2014, scoring all the goals in a 3–0 Ligue 1 home win over Lille. On 26 April 2015, Lacazette broke the Lyon record for Ligue 1 or Division 1 goals scored in a single season with his 26th in a Ligue 1 4–2 away victory over Reims; André Guy had scored a total of 25 Division 1 goals in the 1968–69 season. He finished the 2014–15 Ligue 1 season as the top scorer in Ligue 1, scoring a total of 27 goals. Lacazette completed an outstanding season by being voted Ligue 1 Player of the Year for the 2014–15 season.
Amid transfer speculation from a number of Premier League clubs such as Arsenal following his break-out season, on 8 August 2015, Lacazette signed a new deal, extending his contract with Lyon until 2019. On 8 November 2015, he scored all of the goals in a 3–0 Ligue 1 home win over local arch-rivals Saint-Étienne. On 9 January 2016, he scored the first goal at the newly opened Parc Olympique Lyonnais, in a 4–1 win over Troyes in a Ligue 1 match.
In May 2017, it was reported that a verbal arrangement had been reached for Lacazette to join Atlético Madrid in the summer of 2017, but that fell through on 1 June 2017, after the Court of Arbitration for Sport upheld Atlético’s ban on registering players for two transfer windows (1 January – 2 February 2017 and 1 June – 31 August 2017) that was imposed in July 2016 by FIFA on the club for breaching FIFA rules over the signing of minors.
On 5 July 2017, Lacazette signed a reported five-year deal for Premier League club Arsenal for a club record fee; Lyon disclosed that the fee was an initial €53 million (£46.5 million) plus up to €7 million (£6.1 million) in potential bonuses. The fee was the largest ever received by Lyon from the sale of a player, beating the €41.5 million (£37.7 million) record set by Corentin Tolisso’s transfer to Bayern Munich three weeks earlier. The transfer fee also surpassed the previous Arsenal record €50 million (£42.5 million) that Arsenal paid Real Madrid for Mesut Özil in 2013. Lacazette was given the number 9 jersey.