Mikel Arteta says Alexandre Lacazette wants to stay and fight for his place at Arsenal despite transfer interest from other clubs.
The Frenchman has been linked with a move to Juventus or Atletico Madrid this summer after struggling to hold down a regular first-team place last season.
Eddie Nketiah’s emergence has put increased pressure on Lacazette while Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is poised to sign a new three-year deal at the club.
Lacazette still has two years remaining on his contract but speculation suggested Arsenal were prepared to cash-in on the striker now to fund other transfers.
However Arteta insists Lacazette is focused on staking a claim at Arsenal.
“He is really happy here,” Arteta said at a press conference. “He wants to continue improving and contributing to the team.
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“I know how good he is, the impact he’s having.
“He knows about the competition he has as well with the front players so again he needs to demand himself to be the best striker at this football club the same as the rest and he was very happy to hear that and the way he’s been training and conducting [himself] has been excellent.”
Asked whether he feels Lacazette wants to remain with Arsenal, Arteta replied: “Yes, I think he is very happy here. That is my feeling and what I got from that conversation.”
Lacazette is likely to be in the squad for Arsenal’s opening day trip to Craven Cottage to face newly-promoted Fulham on Saturday.
Arsenal will be without seven other stars for the clash though, as David Luiz became the latest player to be ruled out.
Luiz aggravated a neck injury in training and could now be out for up to six weeks.
That means new signings Gabriel Magalhaes or William Saliba could be thrown in at the deep end with The Gunners light of options at the back.
Rob Holding has remained at the club after Arsenal cancelled his proposed loan to Newcastle, while Sokratis, Shkodran Mustafi, Pablo Mari and Calum Chambers are all on the injury list.
Arsenal will also be without youngsters Gabriel Martinelli and Emile Smith-Rowe.