Arsenal striker Alexandre Lacazette has said he'll do his best to lure friend and Atletico Madrid striker Antoine Griezmann to the Emirates Stadium in the near future. Elsewhere, Barcelona are said to have opted not to sell Gunners target Aleix Vidal.
Arsenal broke their transfer record when signing Lacazette from Lyon in a £52.5 million move this past summer, and Goal's Chris Wheatley provided quotes from the Frenchman, speaking to Match of the Day magazine:
Chris Wheatley @ChrisWheatley_
Lacazette on Antoine Griezmann in @MOTDmag (out tomorrow): "We are very good friends and have lots of fun. Our nicknames for each other are Griezzy and Lacaz. If Griezzy visits me in London, I’m going to ask him to sign for Arsenal!” https://t.co/iYXg8JrEgw2017-10-2 12:38:36
The forward's France team-mate, Griezmann, came close to a Premier League move of his own and would have joined Manchester United were it not for Atletico's transfer ban convincing him to stay, according to his former agent Eric Olhats, per The Independent.
Lacazette detailed his friendship with Griezmann extends into the video game realm, revealing former Lyon team-mate Corentin Tolisso also ranks among his close friends, per Goal's Robin Bairner: "Just like in FIFA Ultimate Team, we [Griezmann and Tolisso] have a good chemistry and don't need to talk to understand each other's movements on the pitch. I've known them for a long time!"
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger could use the attacking reinforcements, too, and despite beating Brighton & Hove Albion 2-0 on Sunday, it's telling that defender Nacho Monreal and Alex Iwobi supplied the goals.
Atletico's transfer ban will be long over by the time next summer's transfer window opens, and football writer Liam Canning recently suggested their re-signing of Diego Costa almost assures Griezmann will be leaving the club:
Liam Canning @LiamPaulCanning
Atlético Madrid taking Diego Costa on-loan for the season and financing the deal by selling one of their key players. Bye Antoine Griezmann!2017-9-30 18:00:01
Lacazette has made a promising start to life in the Premier League and has scored four goals in his first eight games under Wenger, but the north Londoners would be all the more devastating with Griezmann among their ranks.
Arsenal can already field an all-French attack with Olivier Giroud still at Wenger's disposal, although the 31-year-old is yet to start a league game since Lacazette arrived and could be facing the end of his time as a prominent Emirates star.
Meanwhile, Italian website Calciomercato.com (h/t TalkSport) reported Barca are no longer in the mood to sell former fringe figure Vidal after new manager Ernesto Valverde took a shine to the defender.
This comes a few weeks after ESPN FC's Dermot Corrigan suggested the exit door looked likely for Vidal, who moved to the Camp Nou from Sevilla in 2015 for a fee of around £15 million:
Dermot Corrigan @dermotmcorrigan
Aleix Vidal seems on the outs again - not even on the bench, even with Sergi Roberto injured.2017-9-9 18:46:28
Since then, Vidal has demonstrated his use to the first team both in defence and as a more attacking option, and Valverde said in mid-September that he was "happy with him and his performances," per Sport.
TalkSport cited Italian powerhouse Inter Milan as one of the other parties interested in a move for the Spaniard, who looks set to extend his Barca stay after finding another opportunity to impress under Valverde.