Alexandre Lacazette became Arsenal’s record buy after Arsene Wenger met him personally in Paris and convinced him to join.
According to The Sun, the secret meeting was held while Lacazette was on international duty last month.
Lacazette was about to join Atletico Madrid in the summer but the transfer embargo that stops them signing players until January allowed Wenger to pounce.
Wenger has tracked the 26-year-old from a very young age and it was this comprehensive knowledge that helped to seal the deal for Lacazette.
The Arsenal boss had been keeping tabs on Lacazette since being tipped off by ex-Gunner Gilles Grimandi in 2006.
A source close to Lacazette said: “His move to Atletico was a done deal. It was the club where he wanted to go but the transfer embargo situation meant he couldn’t.
“He wouldn’t have been able to play there until January and, in a season that ends with the World Cup in Russia, there was no way Alexandre could afford to not be at the highest level for half a season.
“So Wenger struck quickly and raced over to Paris to meet him.”
Lacazette: “Straightaway you can see it’s a squad with loads of experience. Arsenal is a well-established club with excellent staff.” pic.twitter.com/fGrJUJ0urj
— afcstuff (@afcstuff) July 15, 2017
The source went on to say: “Arsenal’s playing style is very good for him. He has always loved watching them.
“And it’ll also be easier for Alexandre to play for a French manager with other French players there, too.”
Wenger’s detailed knowledge of his upbringing and ability to convince him that they would only be out of the Champions League for one season also served him well when trying to acquire his services.
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