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Arsenal boss not worried by Lacazette's lack of goals

Lacazette last scored in the 3-1 defeat against Manchester United at the beginning of December. Credit: PA

Arsene Wenger has conceded that Alexandre Lacazette's confidence has taken a knock but insists he is not concerned by his record signing's goal drought.

Lacazette hit the ground running following his £50million move from Lyon last summer, netting four times in his opening six league fixtures for Arsenal.

But the France international, 26, has now gone nearly 10 hours without finding the back of the net - he last scored in the 3-1 defeat against Manchester United at the beginning of December - and he was largely ineffectual in the Carabao Cup semi-final at Chelsea before he was substituted in the second half.

"(The lack of goals) certainly affects him (Lacazette) a little bit, but I am not worried," Wenger said. "He was diminished a bit physically on Wednesday night against Chelsea because he was not at his best before the game, but he was as well very isolated.

"It was a difficult game for a striker because he did defend a lot, but overall I don't worry that he will come back and it's in cycles. At the moment he's going through a cycle that is a bit more frustrating for him."

Man City prepared to walk away from Alexis Sanchez deal

Alexis Sanchez has been linked with Manchester City as his contract situation rumbles on. Credit: PA

Manchester City are prepared to walk away from a deal to sign Arsenal's Alexis Sanchez.

The Premier League leaders feel the overall price for signing the Chile forward this month - transfer fee, agent costs and wage demands - is currently too high and must come down.

City are not concerned if this stance opens up a route for another club, even arch-rivals Manchester United, to step in.

Jose Mourinho said: "At the general level, what I can say is that myself and the Manchester United board, we don't believe a lot in the January market. We don't believe in signing players just to sign a player, just to do something. We don't believe in that.

"What we believe really is that there are some players in the football world, if you have a chance to sign them, it doesn't matter if it is in January, March or July, you have to try.

"But in relation to Alexis Sanchez, I don't say a word. The only word I can say is the same word that everybody says, he's a phenomenal player.

"Apart from that, (he's an) Arsenal player, I feel I shouldn't say much more than this."

Sanchez has long been a target for City and they offered £60million for the 29-year-old, without success, last summer. They would now hope to do a deal for a fee of around £20million but are understood to have been quoted £35million.


Francis Coquelin swaps Arsenal for Valencia

Francis Coquelin had fallen down the pecking order in Arsenal's midfield. Credit: PA

Francis Coquelin has agreed to join LaLiga side Valencia on a four-and-a-half-year contract following a decade with Arsenal.

Coquelin, 26, arrived at Arsenal from French side Laval in 2008 and went on to make 160 first-team appearances.

The combative midfielder spent several loan spells away from the Gunners before establishing himself as an integral part of an Arsene Wenger side which won the FA Cup in both 2015 and 2017.

French-born Coquelin was also a target for Premier League clubs including West Ham and Crystal Palace but instead opted for a four and a half year deal in Spain.

Despite a sizeable three and a half years left on his contract Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has deemed Coquelin surplus to requirements and will look to utilise Granit Xhaka, Mohamed Elneny, Jack Wilshere and Aaron Ramsey in the heart of his side.


Man United ready to hijack Man City's Sanchez move

Alexis Sanchez has been linked with Manchester City as his contract situation rumbles on. Credit: PA

Manchester United are reportedly ready to hijack any Manchester City move for Arsenal forward Alexis Sanchez.

Former Barcelona forward Sanchez, 29, is out of contract at the Emirates Stadium this summer and has been linked with a January switch to City.

However, Sky Sport Italia claims Jose Mourinho's United are plotting to snatch Chile international Sanchez from under City's noses.

United boss Mourinho, who said he was unlikely to buy anyone in January, recently bemoaned his club's inability to invest up to "£700 million" in new players, claiming Premier League leaders City have the advantage of unlimited spending power.

Beating Pep Guardiola to Sanchez's capture would therefore represent a major coup for the Old Trafford side and for Mourinho.

The reports further claim that Henrikh Mkhitaryan has been offered as a makeweight in any deal with Arsenal.

Armenia international Mkhitaryan has struggled to hold down a first-team place at Old Trafford this season and Sky Sport Italia reports that Arsenal are keen on the former Borussia Dortmund forward.

City, meanwhile, remain tight-lipped over a potential approach for Sanchez in the current transfer window but midfielder Kevin De Bruyne said on Wednesday he believes the player would "add something" to the squad at the Etihad.

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