MIKEL ARTETA has confirmed that contract talks with Alexandre Lacazette have been put on hold until the summer so Arsenal can focus on securing a place in the top four.
The 30-year-old striker has been captain of the Gunners since Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang leaves Barcelona on a free transfer last month.
However, the Frenchman will become a free agent in June and is being linked with back to old club Lyon.
Lacazette has been able to discuss the terms of a potential summer transition with interested foreign parties since last month.
That is the same as fellow striker Eddie Nketiah and midfielder Mohamed Elneny, both of whom are on their final six-month contracts at Emirates Stadium.
But negotiations on an extension were postponed because ArsenalTheir current focus is on trying to qualify for next season’s Champions League – like Sun Sport was first revealed exclusively in November.
They enter tonight’s clash with Wolves four points behind fourth-placed Manchester United but have three games in hand.
Arteta, who is confident he can keep Lacazette, said before the game: “There is a chance (Lacazette signs a new contract), but we have the decision to bring in three or four players in relation to the summer.
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“Starting those conversations now, I don’t think it’s the right way.
“We talked to all the players, what will happen, the freedom they have because the contracts allow them to make any decision and with our position there.
“That is what we will do. At the end of the season, we will sit down and decide what is best for all parties.”
Lacazette has scored five goals in 24 games for Arsenal so far this season.
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https://www.the-sun.com/sport/4761769/arsenal-lacazette-contract-talks-arteta/ Arsenal ‘skip contract talks with Lacazette until end of season’ despite risk the striker will quit on a free transfer