Lyon coach Bruno Genesio insists star striker Alexandre Lacazette is going nowhere during the current transfer window.
France international Lacazette was linked with a big-money move away from the Ligue 1 outfit during the close season, with Arsenal reported to head a list of potential suitors.
The 25-year-old did nothing to quell the clamour surrounding him by hitting a hat-trick in Sunday’s league opener at newly promoted Nancy.
After the 3-0 win, Lacazette said he was happy to remain with Lyon and wished to reach 100 career goals in Ligue 1, but also acknowledged he would be open for a move if the club accepted any offers.
Speaking ahead of Friday’s home match against Caen, Genesio stated the latter turn of events is now most unlikely and praised Lyon’s capacity for nurturing talented players.
“We all know Alex’s qualities. He is a finisher but also a great footballer. He scores a lot of goals because he is involved in build-up of play,” he said.
“That’s why we did our best, the staff and my chairman to keep him in the club and to show him he’s an important player for the team.
“I heard that he said ‘if the chairman wants me to stay, I will stay’. It means that he needs to feel loved and wanted, like all the top players.
“He needed to feel loved. It is the message that Alex sent. He is and he will stay at Lyon.
“All the players need that. It doesn’t mean allowing them to do whatever they want. It means to show that we count on them, in the good and bad moments.
“We are in a business with human relationships. There are high expectations. It’s not always easy. There can be tensions. But showing our confidence to the players for them to be efficient is very important.”
Lacazette was substituted at half-time during the Trophee des Champions defeat against Paris-Saint Germain but he returned in style against Nancy and Genesio is unsurprised to see the player continuing the rich vein of form that returned 23 goals in all competitions last season.
“He is in the same form as last season,” the coach added. “We were speaking before about momentum. He kept this momentum.
“He had a good preparation, he was good at training and in the friendlies we played. He got injured against PSG. But it was probably for the best as he had time to rest and work.
“It was not a serious injury. He was full of energy against Nancy.”