Football

Lucas Perez.

Guillem Balague: Why Arsenal are signing Lucas Perez instead of Alexandre Lacazette

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Five days remain of the transfer window and, at long last, Arsene Wenger has come to life.

Arsenal's much-maligned manager has been under pressure to build upon his £34 million worth of summer signings for the best part of two months and, through a mixture of reluctance to spend and bad luck, he hasn't done so.

But now, following two disappointing games in the Premier League, the Frenchman is prepared to splash the cash and reinforce two positions in dire need of improvements.

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Valencia's Shkodran Mustafi and Deportivo La Coruna striker Lucas Perez are reportedly close to joining Arsenal for a combined £52 million, somewhat solving the Gunners' issues.

But what happened to Alexandre Lacazette's proposed move to the Emirates Stadium? After all, the France international was once widely tipped to leave Lyon and join Wenger's ranks.

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Well, Spanish football expert Guillem Balague believes he has the answer.

Tweeting to his 997,000 Twitter followers, he said: "On Lucas Perez and [Arsenal]. They wanted [Alexandre] Lacazette but when Lyon asked for €55m, they choose [Perez]. Not true at all that he was rejected earlier."

Balague's words not only explain why Arsenal opted for Perez over Lacazette but also refute rumours that they rejected the 27-year-old last month.

The latter claim originated from the Mirror, who reported on Thursday that Arsenal turned down the chance to sign Perez after compiling several scouting reports and deeming him 'not good enough'.

Had that been the case, it would have been an embarrassing turn of events for the Gunners.

Rayo Vallecano v RC Deportivo La Coruna - La Liga

Since reports emerged that Arsenal are close to securing moves for the La Liga duo, Wenger has revealed how he is "99 per cent confident" he will sign some players before August 31.

He said, per the Independent: "We are working on the deals, but we are not close enough to announce today.

"Will we sign anyone before the window closes? I'm 99 per cent confident. I'm more optimistic than before but I can't announce anything yet.

"Honestly, I expected it to be easier than ever but it looks like it will be harder than ever. It will be frenetic in the next three days."

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Pressed for answers, Wenger insisted on being tight-lipped about the inevitable.

"I'm more optimistic than before but I can't announce anything yet," he added.

"Honestly, I expected it to be easier than ever but it looks like it will be harder than ever. It will be frenetic in the next three days.

"I'm happy when our supporters are happy but my focus is on strengthening the squad in the right way."

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Topics:
Thierry Henry
Alexis Sanchez
UEFA Champions League
Theo Walcott
Football
Premier League
Arsenal

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