Arsenal’s Alexandre Lacazette replacement plans in ruins as Leicester near £15m transfer

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Arsenal look set to miss out on the signing of Celtic star Odsonne Edouard with Leicester City now in pole position to complete a summer move, according to reports. The Gunners were said to be considering their options amid the potential departure of Alexandre Lacazette, with Edouard having been tracked by the club for a number of months after impressing in Scotland.

Reports earlier this week suggested that Lacazette could be sold at the end of the season if Arsenal receive a credible offer for his services.

Edouard had been tipped as a ready-made replacement after scoring 16 goals in 24 appearances for Celtic since the beginning of the campaign.

He found the net on 28 occasions last season while also claiming 19 assists, leading the Hoops to an unprecedented ninth successive Scottish Premiership title.

Although the Gunners have been keeping a close eye on Edouard as of late, it appears that they have all but lost the race for his signature.

Leicester are closing in on a £15million deal with Celtic that would see the 23-year-old make the switch to the King Power Stadium, according to the Daily Mail.

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The report claims that Edouard has expressed a desire to reunite with former boss Brendan Rodgers, who signed the forward twice during his time at Parkhead, initially on loan in 2017 before agreeing a £9m transfer with Paris Saint-Germain the following season.

It is said that Rodgers sees the Frenchman as a long-term replacement for veteran talisman Jamie Vardy.

The reported £15m fee represents a huge drop in Celtic’s demands, with the Glasgow giants previously understood to be holding out for around £40m in order to part ways with their star man.

However, club chiefs are confident that Edouard will be a success in the Premier League and are keen to insert a substantial sell-on clause in order to benefit from a possible big-money move in the not-too-distant future.

He remains contracted to Celtic until the end of next season after penning a four-year deal in 2018.

PSG are entitled to 40 per cent of any transfer fee as a result of their sell-on agreement with the Scottish outfit.

It is said that a number of clubs were rivalling Arsenal and the Foxes in the race for Edouard, including Roma and Aston Villa, but it appears that Leicester have emerged as the successful party.

The striker has averaged a goal every 134 minutes since joining Celtic, scoring 81 times in 160 appearances for the club.

He is yet to receive a full international call-up but boasts a thoroughly impressive return for France’s under-21 side, with 15 goals in just 10 games during his time in the setup.

Edouard revealed last year that he was considering an exit, citing his desire to play at the highest level.

“I have been here for three seasons,” he told French media in October. “For sure after a while I start to think about looking elsewhere and going to find another, higher level championship.

“But for the time being I’ll continue here, I’ll continue my season and when the right time comes I’ll make the decision to leave.”

When quizzed on his preferred destination, he replied: “”That I really don’t know at all. I haven’t really thought about it.

“I don’t know at all. We’ll see where the future takes me.”

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