Alexandre Lacazette has dismissed suggestions he could leave Arsenal if they do not qualify for next season’s Champions League.
The 28-year-old has two years remaining on his current deal, but newspaper reports this week claim he has a clause in his contract allowing him to leave the Gunners if they fail to make it into European football’s premier competition for the 2020-21 campaign.
Arsenal are ninth in the Premier League, seven points behind Chelsea in fourth, while they could qualify for the Champions League if they win this season’s Europa League.
Lacazette, who could line up against Olympiacos in the Europa League last-32 second leg on Thursday after scoring the only goal of the first leg, has rubbished reports of the clause, insisting his future remains in north London.
“I didn’t know about this [the clause],” he told a media conference. “I don’t know. I have a contract with the club so there is no reason for me to leave if everybody is happy with me at the club.”
Lacazette’s strike partner Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is another Gunners player who has been linked with a move away from the club.
Working towards that second leg
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The former Borussia Dortmund frontman is 30 and has been linked with other clubs, including Inter and Barcelona, as he approaches the final year of his contract.
The Gunners see him as a big part of their future, though, with Lacazette also keen for him to remain at the Emirates Stadium.
“It’s really important,” he added. “He is one of the best or maybe the best this season for Arsenal. Obviously, I hope he’s going to stay long for the club.”
The Gabon international took his tally for the season to 19 goals in all competitions with a brace against Everton at the weekend, but Lacazette is keen for people to start recognising his wider contribution to the side.
“I think people should talk more about Auba and what he’s doing in the game,” he said.
“He’s more than a goalscorer. He’s working a lot for the team defensively, making space for the strikers. I just think if we start to win trophies, people will talk more about what he’s doing for the team.”