LONG-TERM Newcastle United target Alexandre Lacazette is on the verge of signing a new three-year deal with French club Lyon.
While the Magpies have already completed a £6m deal for Emmanuel Riviere this summer, Alan Pardew would like to bring in another centre-forward before the transfer window closes.
Newcastle have lost Loic Remy, Shola Ameobi and Luuk de Jong since the end of last season, and while Riviere’s arrival has provided some much-needed attacking ammunition, the club’s front line still looks somewhat light in the absence of the injured Papiss Cisse.
Lacazette has been a leading attacking target since the end of last season, with Newcastle officials having inquired about the Frenchman’s potential availability on a number of occasions at the start of the summer.
At that stage, it looked as though the 23-year-old would be leaving Lyon’s Stade Gerland, but Lacazette yesterday revealed he is close to signing a new deal that would conclusively end any Newcastle interest in his services.
“I will be staying at Lyon,” said Lacazette, who scored 15 Ligue 1 goals last season. “I want to continue my development here.”
Lazacette’s comments follow hot on the heels of Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas’ assessment that a new deal is close.
“We had lunch with him (Lacazette) and his agent, and we’re on track to agreeing a three-year extension,” said Aulas. “It’s for him to make the decision. He’s under contract until 2016 and he’s still a young player.”
Pardew, who is aware of the developments regarding Lacazette, has landed in New Zealand with the rest of Newcastle’s travelling party ahead of their two-game tour.
The Magpies were greeted with a traditional Maori ceremonial welcome when they landed in Dunedin, before taking part in an open training session at the Forsyth Barr Stadium.
Newcastle take on Australian side Sydney FC tomorrow morning (kick-off 8.30am GMT) before facing Wellington Phoenix on Saturday.