Newcastle jousting with Juventus for Lyon striker Alexandre Lacazette
Newcastle United must fend off interest from 13/10 Europa League favourites Juventus if they are to land top striking target Alexandre Lacazette from Lyon in the summer.
Reports from the Italian press quote the 22-year-old, who is reportedly valued at around £9m, as saying he finds a move to a top European team attractive.
“Would I like to play for Juventus? I would be a liar to say no,” Lacazette said. “Like everyone, I am attracted by great experiences abroad and Juventus is one of the biggest clubs in Europe.”
Serie A leaders Juve are closing on a third consecutive Italian top-flight title, while Newcastle are languishing in mid-table under Alan Pardew. The Magpies have been heavily reliant on loanee Loic Remy for goals this season, and even more so since playmaker Yohan Cabaye was sold to PSG in January.
Only Stoke City have scored fewer Premier League goals than Newcastle in the current top 10. Pardew has to plan for the possibility that leading marksman Remy may move permanently elsewhere.
Lyon, who dominated French domestic football by winning seven straight Ligue 1 titles between 2001 and 2008, have fallen by the wayside in recent years, because of mega rich investment at PSG and now Monaco.
Managed by former Arsenal player Remi Garde, they have become a selling club since those glory days, losing the likes of goalie Hugo Lloris to Tottenham. Lacazette is Lyon’s top-scorer with 20 in all competitions.
Rumoured suitors Juventus will get a closer look at him as they meet his side in the Europa League quarter-finals. Although they host the Old Lady at the Stade de Gerland first, Lyon (16/1 shots to lift the trophy) are 4/1 outsiders to win on the night, and the same price to qualify from the tie.
Antonio Conte’s Turin giants, meanwhile, are odds-on 8/11 favourites for victory in France, and 1/6 to advance to the semis. Lacazette is 2/1 to score anytime against Juve.