Alexandre Lacazette

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Lacazette confirms he’ll leave Lyon, hopes to join Atletico Madrid

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Alexandre Lacazette has been “leaving” Lyon for what feels like about five years now, having been constantly linked to some of the biggest clubs in the Premier League and other leagues around Europe since bursting onto the scene in 2013.

[ MORE: Koeman not confident Barkley will stay at Everton ]

This time, though, it’s really actually definitely happening without any level of uncertainty — so says Lacazette himself. Speaking to French newspaper L’Equipe this week, the 25-year-old said it’s “the right time” to “discover something else, and to play at a different level.” He went on to reveal he’s already spoken to Atletico Madrid, and Lacazette sounds as if he’s selling Atleti as much on his as they are themselves to him:

“I think that’s the right time. I want to discover something else, and to play at a different level.”

“I know very well that on a European scale I am not yet well recognized. I want to see if I can answer the questions that people are asking, and to make further progress.”

“Atletico are good, it is a club that is in the last rounds of the Champions League for several years.

“It is a great team, in a new stadium, and it is also a club that helps their players progress. And there is Antoine Griezmann. If Atletico is the club I chose, I have not told you, maybe I’ll give you another answer in a few months.”

[ MORE: Latest transfer rumor roundup ]

While no one will begrudge Lacazette this — who wouldn’t want to play with Griezmann? — the reality of a move to Atleti this summer might just be that he’s Griezmann’s replacement after his countryman makes a mega-bucks move to one of Europe’s true giants.

Ajax holds on for dear life to reach UEL Final

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Kasper Dolberg scored a first half goal to give Ajax a four-goal edge on Lyon, but that did anything but make things academic at the Parc Olympique Lyonnais.

Alexandre Lacazette scored twice before halftime before Rachid Ghazzal pulled Lyon to within a goal of Ajax with nine minutes remaining in regulation.

But Lyon could only muster a 3-1 second leg win, sending Ajax to the May 24 final against Manchester United in Solna, Sweden, with a 5-4 advantage on aggregate.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

The 19-year-old Dolberg had scored in the first leg, and scooped up a valuable away goal 27 minutes into the second.

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But Lyon wasn’t going away without a fight, turning to its star striker Lacazette.

The 25-year-old converted a penalty kick in the 45th minute and added one from the run of play in the first minute of stoppage time as Ajax bungled a touch atop its 18 and Lacazette was waiting on the left to provide the end product of Nabil Fekir’s work on the right.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Ghazzal netted in the 81st minute to move Lyon to within a goal of extra time but Ajax, somehow, held on.

Lacazette’s non-celebration of this rocket goal is amazing (video)

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How long can Lyon hold onto Alexandre Lacazette if he keeps this up?

The French striker, often linked with this biggest names in Europe, continues to bury goals with authority. Thursday’s performance in a 4-2 Europa League win over Roma isn’t going to stop that.

[ MORE: Ranking the greatest comebacks ]

As for the cherry on top of his dominant performance, this hammer of a goal? Wow. He’s hot even for his lofty standards, and Lacazette belted this one about as hard as shots get hit. And that celebration!

Lacazette has 22 goals in 23 Ligue 1 matches this year, including 11 in his last 11.

Report: Early leaders in Lacazette race include Arsenal, Dortmund

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According to a report by French TV station Telefoot, the early clubs linked to Lyon striker Alexandre Lacazette include Arsenal, Manchester City, Borussia Dortmund, and Atletico Madrid.

The 25-year-old Frenchman has announced he will leave his current club at the end of the season, and there are plenty of destinations that would make sense.

The Gunners could bring Lacazette to the Emirates to replace a potential departure of Alexis Sanchez which seems even more likely after manager Arsene Wenger left the Chilean on the bench to start the Liverpool loss on Saturday. Obviously, Wenger is often tied to transfers for most top Frenchmen given his own nationality.

Borussia Dortmund has its own replacement to make, with striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang having confirmed he will depart in the summer. Arsenal has been linked to Aubameyang as well, and should the Gunners make waves with the Dortmund striker, it could pave the way for Lacazette to make the move to the Bundesliga.

Atletico Madrid was in contact with Lacazette last summer, according to the report, and therefore would still be interested in a future move. It’s rumored just about every summer that Antoine Griezmann will leave for the Premier League, and that could create an opening. Even with Griezmann at Atletico, Diego Simeone could use a striker with Lacazette’s work rate to partner Griezmann or compliment him.

Finally, Manchester City seems the oddest of the names mentioned here. Pep Guardiola already has too many strikers, with world-class Sergio Aguero somehow on the outside looking in. Aguero is playing at the moment, but only due to the injury to Gabriel Jesus, who arrived in the winter and immediately earned the starting spot. Once Jesus recovers from his broken foot, Aguero could return to the bench. There are reports that he could leave for a more guaranteed starting role, but it seems unlikely Lacazette would join a squad already brimming with attacking talent when there are clubs mentioned above that seem far more desperate for a starting striker.

It would be remiss to leave out PSG as an option as well, given the club’s resources and proximity to Lacazette’s current home. Edinson Cavani is in superb form, but is still 30 years old, and could likely use a successor sooner than later. Juventus is often linked to top-level strikers, but with Gonzalo Higuain and Mario Mandzukic already on location plus the outstanding young striker Paulo Dybala, it’s unlikely they would be in play.

Lyon striker Lacazette says he wants a summer move

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The striker market this summer is going to be fun.

Borussia Dortmund frontman Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang already said at the end of January that he will likely move on this summer, and now another top name could be up for grabs.

Lyon goalscorer Alexandre Lacazette told French television channel Canal+ that he will want “a change of scenery this summer.”

Lacazette has been prolific on the field the last three seasons for Lyon. The 27-year-old has 18 league goals in 17 appearances this season, four behind Ligue 1 leader Edinson Cavani, with eight of those coming from the penalty spot. Lacazette scored 21 goals last year in Ligue 1, and 27 the year prior. The beginning to the 2014/15 season was particularly special for Lacazette, who was on record goalscoring pace with 21 goals by the end of January before an injury knocked him off his form.

He’s been linked heavily with Arsenal in the past, and could interest other top European teams looking for a player of his caliber, such as Real Madrid, Juventus, or Bayern Munich, especially if Thomas Muller’s struggles continue.