Lacazette happy to remain at Lyon as Newcastle issue Ben Arfa with major snub

The Advertiser Series: STAYING PUT: Alexandre Lacazette claims he is happy remaining at Lyon despite interest from Newcastle United STAYING PUT: Alexandre Lacazette claims he is happy remaining at Lyon despite interest from Newcastle United

ALEXANDRE LACAZETTE insists he is happy remaining at Lyon, despite a fresh attempt from Newcastle United officials to lure the striker to St James’ Park.

Lacazette has been one of the Magpies’ leading attacking targets all summer, and while Emmanuel Riviere, Ayoze Perez and Facundo Ferrerya have all moved to Tyneside since the opening of the transfer window, Alan Pardew would like to recruit one more striker before the end of the month.

Newcastle’s recruitment team have been back in touch with the Lyon hierarchy this week to discuss a possible offer for the 23-year-old, who is rated in the £15m bracket by his current employers.

While the Magpies would be unwilling to go that high, they had been hoping that Lacazette’s rumoured desire to move to England would enable them to drive down his price in the closing stages of the window.

However, the two-time France international has spoken of his willingness to remain in Ligue 1 and claimed he is focusing on starting the new campaign with Lyon.

“Last winter, there were rumours, rumours of a possible departure and you can hear anything and everything, it has not been easy,” said Lacazette. “Now I am used to it, and I am now in Lyon and concentrating on the new season.”

Lacazette also revealed that another of Newcastle’s long-term targets, Clement Grenier, was in a similar position, despite having barely featured in Lyon’s pre-season programme.

“It is true that myself and Clement have people looking at us,” he said. “But it’s a good pressure to have.”

Meanwhile, Newcastle’s squad numbers for the new season confirm Hatem Ben Arfa’s slide down the pecking order at St James’ Park, and increase the likelihood of the winger leaving this month.

Ben Arfa has lost the number ten shirt that he has worn for the last three seasons, and has instead been awarded number 26 in the new numbering arrangement.

Siem de Jong replaces Ben Arfa at number ten, with Ryan Taylor taking the vacant number four shirt and Rolando Aarons claiming number 16 after a series of strong showings in pre-season.

Interestingly, Jonas Gutierrez has retained the number 18 shirt despite having failed to appear in a single pre-season game amid unconfirmed reports that his contract is set to be cancelled.

Newcastle squad numbers

1 Tim Krul

2 Fabricio Coloccini

3 Davide Santon

4 Ryan Taylor

6 Mike Williamson

7 Moussa Sissoko

8 Vurnon Anita

9 Papiss Cisse

10 Siem de Jong

11 Yoan Gouffran

13 Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa

14 Jack Colback

15 Facundo Ferreyra

16 Rolando Aarons

17 Ayoze Perez

18 Jonas Gutierrez

19 Massadio Haidara

20 Remy Cabella

21 Rob Elliot

22 Daryl Janmaat

23 Haris Vuckic

24 Cheick Tiote

25 Gabriel Obertan

26 Hatem Ben Arfa

27 Steven Tayor

28 Sammy Ameobi

29 Emmanuel Riviere

30 Mehdi Abeid

31 Jak Alnwick

32 Adam Armstrong

33 Curtis Good

34 Remie Streete

35 Adam Campbell

36 Paul Dummett

37 Lubo Satka

38 Gael Bigirimana

39 Shane Ferguson

40 Olivier Kemen

41 Freddie Woodman

42 Kevin Mbabu

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