ARSENAL HIT BY LYON PRICE HIKE

Olympique Lyonnais striker and Arsenal target Alexandre Lacazette looks increasingly likely to stay with the Ligue 1 club after he was revalued him at £60 million, according to the Telegraph.

The Gunners came in with a bid of £29 million, as confirmed by the French club last month, in an attempt to lure Lacazette away from Lyon, but saw that offer turned down.

Lyon, whose message had always been that the 25-year-old would stay with the club, had initially set Lacazette’s asking price at £42.8 million, as Arsenal prepared to come back with an improved offer.

The likelihood of that happening now appears to have been shot down, however, as ‘Les Gones’ increase their valuation of the striker to £60 million.

Lyon are under no pressure to sell one of their prized assets, having already sold Samuel Umtiti to Barcelona for £21 million this summer.

Some of that cash may now be utilised by the club to offer Lacazette a new contract, as reported by the Evening Standard yesterday, making the Frenchman the best-paid player in Lyon’s history.

ARSENAL STEP UP MUSTAFI CHASE

Arsenal are to follow up their interest in Valencia centre back Shkodran Mustafi, according to BBC Sport journalist David Ornstein.

The Gunners will be without Per Mertesacker for approximately four months in the coming season, whereas the ankle injury sustained by Gabriel Paulista in Arsenal’s 3-2 win versus Manchester City last Sunday is to keep the Brazilian out for up to eight weeks.

The north Londoners will now reportedly step up their chase for German international Mustafi, thought to be valued at £40 million by the Daily Mail.

Valencia, who saw Portugal international André Gomes join Barcelona this summer for £29.3 million plus bonuses, are under pressure to sell due to UEFA’s Financial Fair Play rules.

Mustafi may well be next on the list, with the Evening Standard reporting that Manchester City’s Eliaquim Mangala is now being lined up as the German’s replacement.

Mangala’s agent, Jorge Mendes, holds strong ties with the the La Liga club hoping to land the former FC Porto centre back on loan.

City, however, who today completed the signing of Everton’s John Stones for £47.5 million, are rumoured to prefer selling Mangala outright.

Former Valencia defender Raúl Albiol, currently at Napoli, has also been linked with a comeback in days gone by.

INJURY WORRIES OVER ARSENAL TARGET

Arsenal target Alexandre Lacazette was replaced at half time due to a thigh injury this Saturday, as Olympique Lyonnais lost 4-1 to Paris Saint-Germain for the Trophee des Champions.

The French striker, courted by the Gunners throughout the transfer window, failed to emerge for the second half as his side trailed PSG by 3-0 at the interval.

Lacazette will now undergo tests to identify the extent of his injury, as confirmed by Lyon’s boss Bruno Génésio, with a spell on the sidelines likely to scupper hopes of a potential summer move for the 25-year-old.

“It’s worrying,” Génésio stated. “It’s a big downside of the evening in addition to the defeat.

“Alex felt a pain on the top part of his thigh. It’s too early to tell about the injury. There will be examinations early this week.”

According to Get French Football News, Lacazette refused to speak on the matter after the game, whereas the Lyon boss had admitted earlier in the week that the Frenchman “can leave if Lyon want him to. There are some offers that you cannot refuse,” he told RTL.

Lacazette’s injury only complicates the deal further, however, with Arsenal already unlikely to return with a bid superior to the £29 million reportedly offered, the Evening Standard claims.

WOLFSBURG BLOCK DRAXLER EXIT

Arsenal target Julian Draxler will not be allowed to leave Wolfsburg this summer, the Bundesliga club confirmed in an official club statement.

In an interview with Bild, the Germany international revealed his desire to cut ties with Wolfsburg and that the German outfit had offered him assurances of an exit when he joined from Schalke 04 last summer, subsequently sparking Arsenal’s rumoured interest.

However, Wolfsburg deny having made any agreement with the player concerning a transfer, going one further by ruling out his departure altogether.

In an official statement, the German club revealed there was no “written or verbal agreement made at any time regarding a transfer of Julian Draxler within the current transfer period up to August 31st 2016.

“This is confirmed by a release clause stipulated with Julian Draxler and his management which only comes into force in the summer of 2017.

“Wolfsburg will not transfer Julian Draxler during the current transfer period. Wolfsburg have explained to Julian Draxler once again in a talk that his express to leave the club cannot be accommodated.”

Die Wolfe’s sporting director Klaus Allofs had claimed over a fortnight ago that he was “100 per cent” sure Draxler would stay at the club, with the 22-year-old now offering his side of the story prior to Wolfsburg’s club statement.

“Before you go public like that, you really should speak with me first,” Draxler told Bild. “I made it clear to [head coach] Dieter Hecking after we were knocked out of Euro 2016 in the semi-final that I would like to leave Wolfsburg.

“When I joined, I was assured verbally that I could leave the club whenever the opportunity arose. Both Hecking and Allofs said this.

“It was always clear to everybody that I would like to join a top club in Europe, if I were to get the chance.”

Arsenal, who’s interest in Draxler dates back to January 2014, were now rumoured to be preparing a club-record bid for the wide playmaker, who today returned to training to hold talks with his current club regarding his future.