Juventus have begun talks with Arsenal and Lacazette over summer transfer

Juventus have begun talks with Arsenal and Alexandre Lacazette’s representatives over a summer move for the striker, according to reports in France.

The French forward joined the Gunners from Lyon three years ago for what was then a club-record £52million deal.

The 29-year-old’s form has dipped markedly this season and he went over a year without scoring a Premier League away goal away before netting the second in Arsenal’s recent win over Wolves.

But French outlet Le10Sport claim Serie A champions Juventus have been in contact with the north London side and the striker’s representatives for several days and insist initial negotiations have taken place.

The report adds that Juventus are aware that Arsenal may not easily free up Lacazette to join them given that he has a contract at Emirates Stadium until 2022, but are hopeful a new challenge would tempt him in moving to Italy.

LaLiga outfit Atletico Madrid have also been heavily linked with a move for Lacazette in recent months.

But Italian outfit Juventus are expected to shake up their squad once the transfer window opens, despite being on the brink of wrapping up yet another Serie A title.

An ageing forward line including Cristiano Ronaldo and Gonzalo Higuain will need strengthening to support the continued excellence of Paulo Dybala, and Lacazette has been identified as a suitable candidate.

But Gunners boss Mikel Arteta showered the Frenchman – who has also netted against Tottenham and Liverpool in recent games – with praise ahead of their FA Cup semi-final clash with Manchester City at Wembley on Saturday evening.

‘I really like Alex, I said that before I even joined here. He’s the type of striker that I really like,’ Arteta said.

‘I think he has periods where he was very unlucky because he was having the chances and not converting which he is not used to.

‘But the way he can link play, he’s a massive competitor, he hates to lose, he goes for every ball.

‘You see in every challenge how he’s ready to go, how hard he works and he’s a very intelligent player. I am really happy with him.’

Asked whether Lacazette is player he doesn’t want to lose, Arteta responded: ‘Why would I want to lose a player like him?! I am really happy with him.’