Alexandre Lacazette has played down speculation that he could be used in a swap deal for Atletico Madrid midfielder Thomas Partey this summer and says he wants to see out the final two years of his contract.
The 29-year-old scored only 12 goals in all competitions for the Gunners last campaign and Mikel Arteta is open to offloading him to raise funds for more signings at the club.
Atletico Madrid have long been keen on Lacazette and reports in Spain claimed Arsenal tried to use this to their advantage to convince them to part with Partey in a possible swap deal.
But Lacazette, confident he remains an important part of Arteta’s plans, appears to have ruled out an exit away from the club before next month’s deadline.
‘If this is true, no, it does not please me,’ Lacazette told L’Equipe when asked about speculation of a swap deal which involves him and Partey.
‘But what matters is the choice of the coach [Mikel Arteta] and his confidence. ‘He’s the one who makes the team, not the managers upstairs in the offices, and I know I have his confidence.
‘I’m at Arsenal, I signed a five-year contract to progress and win titles. I have two years left. I am determined to stay.’
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But, Arteta has now played down rumours of a possible transfer for Lacazette, saying: ‘He is really happy here, he wants to keep improving and contributing to the team.
‘I know how good he is, the impact he is having. ‘He knows about the competition he has with the front players, and again he needs to demand of himself to be the best striker at this football club, the same as the rest.
‘He was very happy to hear that and the way he has been training and conducting himself has been excellent.
‘Yes, I think he is very happy here. That is my feeling and what I got from that message.’