Mikel Arteta says Arsenal must discuss the “next step” with Alexandre Lacazette and see if the striker wants to sign a new contract at the club.
The Frenchman has started just two of Arsenal’s last eight Premier League games, with Eddie Nketiah favoured in the centre-forward role on the other six occasions.
While Arsenal remain in talks with captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Arteta says Lacazette’s future also needs to be resolved following a week where Gabriel Martinelli and Bukayo Saka signed new deals at the club.
“We have to have a chat about the next step with him and get his ideas and his feelings. As I said, I am really happy with him,” Arteta said ahead of Tuesday’s match against Leicester, live on Sky Sports.SAS GEO ERRORThis video is not authorized in your location
“He’s a player that I’ve always liked, even when I wasn’t here, because of what he brings to the team: his qualities, his ability, his work rate. So let’s see.
Now we are in a crucial moment. It’s no time to talk about a lot of contract situations. We still have time and we will do it in the right moment
After three league wins in a row Arsenal have set their sights on an unlikely late push for Champions League football next season.
Currently seventh, Arsenal are eight points behind fourth-placed Chelsea with five games to go, and six behind Manchester United in fifth, which would be enough for a Champions League spot if Manchester City’s European ban is upheld – with a decision expected within the next fortnight.
For Arsenal, Arteta says there can be no more dropped points going into a tricky run of fixtures, with Tottenham and Liverpool on the way after Tuesday’s match with Leicester.
“I think we have to win every game and then wait and pray. It’s not about winning one game. I think we need to go game-by-game,” he added.
“A few weeks ago, we were really far from even thinking about Europe and now we are a little bit closer at the moment. So let’s go game-by-game and see where it takes us.