Arsenal forward Alexandre Lacazette has insisted that he has no plans to walk away from the Emirates Stadium this summer, despite speculation linking him with an exit.
The 29-year-old endured a tough 2019/20 season, firing home 12 goals in 39 games and attracting plenty of criticism from supporters for his struggles in front of goal.
With two years remaining on his contract, this could be the last summer in which Arsenal can demand a sizeable fee for Lacazette, and with young Eddie Nketiah making his breakthrough last season, a section of the fan base has called for Lacazette to be offloaded.
That speculation was put to the Frenchman during an interview with L'Equipe, during which Lacazette made it abundantly clear that he won't be pushing for an exit this summer.
“I’m at Arsenal. I signed a five-year contract to improve and win titles," he said. "I’ve got two years left and I’m determined to stay.”
When asked whether that decision was final, he responded: "From me, yes."
Lacazette has been linked with Juventus this summer, but the most prominent rumour involving his name revolves around a move to Atlético Madrid in exchange for midfielder Thomas Partey - something with Lacazette insisted he knows nothing about.
“If it’s true, no, it’s not pleasing,” he said. “But what counts are the choices of the coach and having his confidence. It’s him who picks the team, not the directors in their offices, and I know I’ve got his confidence.”
Despite giving Nketiah chances to shine, manager Mikel Arteta often persevered with Lacazette, helping the Frenchman bag three goals and three assists in the Premier League after lockdown, and Lacazette was full of praise for his boss.
“He’s brought some order to the club, to the squad,” the striker added. “He’s brought ambition in terms of what he is looking forward to doing and what he has known with what he experienced at Manchester City.
“But it’s not a change that can be done in six months because it’s a long process, but yes, it’s happening. Our results after the restart and the victory in the FA Cup proved that we can compete, even if we were playing different football. It did the squad a lot of good.”