Alexandre Lacazette created history on Saturday.
The Lyon striker scoring the very first goal at the newly opened Stade De Lyon.
Lyon triumphed 4-1 over Troyes at their freshly constructed 59,000 capacity stadium, which will host four group matches in this summer’s Euros, as well as a round of 16 game and a semi final.
The Lyon striker was said to have been the subject of a near £20m offer from Newcastle this week, with claims the player had turned down the move.
Whilst it isn’t clear just how far Newcastle got and whether they had even talked figures, Lacazette has confirmed that there was definite contact from NUFC.
Interviewed straight after yesterday’s game in the media ‘mixed zone’, Alexandre Lacazette talked passionately about what it meant to score the very first goal at Lyon’s new home.
However, he was then asked about Newcastle United and their reported approach, Lacazette having this to say:
“I read what you write in the media.
“Now I am at Olympique Lyonnais, I want to have a good second half of the season, so for me a departure is not valid.
“This is my agent, David Venditelli, who cares.
“He knows very well that I did not want to leave, so he declined the offer.”
The instant reason put forward this week as to why the striker had allegedly turned Newcastle down, was that he didn’t want to harm his chances of playing in this summer’s Euros by disrupting his season halfway through.
Lacazette scored 31 goals (all competitions) last season to be a real hot property linked with some top clubs but decided to stay at Lyon, who could also offer Champions League football this season.
Whilst he hasn’t quite hit last season’s heights yet, with seven Ligue 1 goals, including yesterday’s, plus two in the Champions League, you have to ask why he wouldn’t even consider coming to Newcastle at this point, a totally unbalanced squad that are one of the favourites for relegation?
Lyon have now risen to sixth in the table, a point off fourth and only five points from second place – PSG already have the league sewn up with a 20 (twenty!) point league.
So why would Lacazette give up a smooth Euros preparation, the chance to play at least a half season in Lyon’s beautiful new stadium, possibly qualify again for the Champions League and then consider his options/offers.
If Newcastle were serious about going after somebody with great potential and goalscoring record like Lacazette’s, it surely had to be in the summer.
Yes Newcastle spent more than ever before (the money they’d stockpiled in earlier windows) last summer but any clued up fan knew that the four first team squad signings were nowhere close to what was needed, even if they had all hit the ground running.