Arsenal have been dealt a blow in their pursuit of Lyon striker Alexandre Lacazette after the club's president suggested he would command a similar price tag to Antoine Griezmann. Elsewhere, Fulham have said starlet Ryan Sessegnon is not for sale.
Speaking to French newspaper Le Progres (h/t Uche Amako of the Daily Express), Lyon figurehead Jean-Michel Aulas hinted the €100 million price tag linked to Atletico Madrid striker Griezmann may not be far from the fee Lyon would seek for Lacazette.
Aulas said: "We have rejected offers worth around €40 million. I am hearing talk about €100 million for a Griezmann transfer to Real Madrid."
Lyon are currently fourth in Ligue 1 and have reached the quarter-finals of the UEFA Europa League, and Lacazette's prolific record in front of goal has been one of the club's main contributors to that success, per Squawka:
Squawka Football @Squawka
Alexandre Lacazette across all competitions this season: 37 games 30 goals Always scoring goals. https://t.co/9PksYBJlwE2017-4-6 05:55:00
However, one key difference between Griezmann and Lacazette's price tags is that the former's €100 million (£85 million) valuation relates to his release clause, per the Telegraph's James Ducker. Meanwhile, Lacazette isn't understood to have any such stipulation in his contract.
Arsenal can hope they might be able to offer Lacazette the platform he craves in order to receive further international recognition, however, after he recently spoke on his France omission, per Goal's Mohammed Ali:
Mohammed Ali @mohammedali_93
Lacazette says he is "disappointed" by recent France omission - "I was told to score. I did. I was told to perform in Europe. I feel I did." https://t.co/mHqBN1HEPj2017-4-8 11:27:11
That being said, the Gunners may not be able to offer UEFA Champions League football for much longer considering they're sixth in the Premier League and are struggling to keep pace with the division's top four.
Olivier Giroud is no longer a guaranteed starter in north London, Alexis Sanchez's contract is poised to expire in 2018 and Lucas Perez has hardly featured in his maiden season at the club, meaning strike reinforcements are needed.
Elsewhere, Fulham manager Slavisa Jokanovic has shot down any chance of left-back Sessegnon leaving west London this summer, per Metro's Louis Sealey: "Sessegnon will not be in the transfer market in the summer."
The 16-year-old comes highly rated after scoring six goals in 27 first-team appearances for the Cottagers, and team-mate Sone Aluko recently lauded the teenager's potential on Sky Football's EFL Weekly podcast:
Sky Football ⚽️ @SkyFootball
EFL WEEKLY: “I’ve never seen a 16-year-old quite like it!” @sonealuko on @FulhamFC teammate Ryan Sessegnon #FFC https://t.co/ctZ7YfRH5Y2017-3-15 17:09:01
Sessegnon has made a storming break into the senior ranks at Craven Cottage, racking up seven appearances for England's under-19s and attracting interest from Arsenal, Liverpool and Chelsea, per Sealey.
Gunners left-back Kieran Gibbs has a little more than 12 months left on his deal, and with 31-year-old Nacho Monreal ageing further, Sessegnon could be seen as a savvy long-term investment for the north Londoners.