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Arsenal delay Alexandre Lacazette contract talks until summer and risk losing striker on free transfer

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Less than two years ago, managing director Vinai Venkatesham said no player would be allowed to enter the final two years of their contract.

Alexandre Lacazette is into the final 18 months of his contract but negotiations over an extension are on hold until the summer
Alexandre Lacazette is into the final 18 months of his contract but negotiations over an extension are on hold until the summerCredit: EPA

But now the club have ditched the policy as unworkable.

And they risk losing French international Lacazette for nothing.

The hitman has less than 18 months to run on the £170,000-a-week deal he signed when he joined in a £52million transfer from Lyon in 2017.

Boss Mikel Arteta said: “We haven’t talked about anything related to his contract.

“We will speak in the summer — and make a decision then.”

That leaves Lacazette, who turns 30 in May, in a strong bargaining position when negotiations open.

Venkatesham introduced the two-year rule to prevent players running down their contracts and leaving for nothing.

The Gunners lost out after Aaron Ramsey, Jack Wilshere and Danny Welbeck all left as free agents.

But Arteta is in no rush to tie Lacazette down to a new long-term agreement.

The striker has enjoyed a return to form and is now the club’s nine-goal top scorer this season — including five in his last four games.

The Frenchman has scored in his last four appearances, including twice in the 4-0 win at West Brom
The Frenchman has scored in his last four appearances, including twice in the 4-0 win at West BromCredit: AP:Associated Press

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TheSun

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