Lyon: Lyon received a massive boost on Saturday when star striker Alexandre Lacazette signed a new contract up to 2019, the Ligue 1 club announced. The deal appears to end any danger that last season's top scorer in France with 27 goals would be lured away from the Stade de Gerland despite interest from some of Europe's superpowers.
"It was complicated and long," the 24-year-old France international declared after putting pen to paper to a deal worth a reported 4.5 million euros ($4.9m, pounds 3.1m) a year. "I let it be known my wish to stay at the club and to refuse any outside offer," added Lacazette, whose existing contract was due to expire in 2018.
"The important thing for me was not whether I would extend my contract or not, but to stay at the club. "I knew that I was going to stay here." He becomes Lyon's top earner ahead of playmaker Clement Grenier, who has also signed a new deal this summer.
Among those suitors interested in signing up the 30 million pounds (42m euro, $46.5m)-rated striker were Premier League sides Liverpool, Manchester United and Arsenal. Saturday's announcement follows Lyon coach Hubert Fournier's assertion on July 24 that Lacazette would remain a Lyon player.
Capped eight times by France, Lacazette broke Andre Guy's 46-year-old club record for the most goals scored by a Lyon player in a campaign last season and was named Ligue 1's player of the year by his fellow professionals. However, Lacazette left open the possibility that he may still move on in the not too distant future.
"There have been no promises. I am under contract until 2019. Anything can happen. The number one objective is to have a great season. We will see in a year where we are and there has been no discussion about any agreement to let me leave."
Champions seven years in a row in the last decade, Lyon finished second to champions Paris-Saint Germain last season and open their 2015-2016 campaign at home to Lorient on Sunday.