Jose Mourinho was tempted to sign Alexandre Lacazette during his time as Manchester United manager, but opted for Romelu Lukaku instead because he decided the Frenchman wasn’t lethal enough in front of goal.
The Portuguese manager spent six months scouting Lacazette with a view to taking him to Old Trafford but after careful consideration, Mourinho chose to sign Lukaku – who is of course now set for a Premier League return as he edges closer to a move to Chelsea for the second time – because he believed he would score more goals in big games and had a better physical impact.
Lacazette, then 26, had joined Arsenal in a club-record deal worth £52million the year prior after netting 100 goals in 203 appearances for Lyon.
However, as reported by the Express, a United source said: “Lacazette was followed because he was top scorer in French football – but a lot of his goals were penalties [10 of his 28 goals last season came from the spot].
“In the end he wasn’t considered because he has no stamina, no physical impact and isn’t a big-game player.”
It’s now four years later and AS Roma’s new head coach, Mourinho, is said to be interested in bringing the 30-year-old to the Serie A, which is surprising given his previous verdict on the striker’s ability.
Arsenal are believed to be open to offloading Lacazette – who has now entered the final year of his contract – in order to help fund future moves, including Chelsea’s Tammy Abraham, a player who has also been strongly linked with a move to Roma, especially after news emerged that the two clubs were in advanced negotiations over his signature.
Some reports in Italy, as per Sport Witness, even claim that the Gunners have offered Lacazette to Roma to help with their bid to sign Abraham, who is thought to be surplus to requirements at Chelsea after falling out-of-favour under Thomas Tuchel.
If Mourinho were to move for the French striker, then this could theoretically give Arsenal a clear run at Abraham.
However, if he still thinks that he’s not going to be the man to score goals for his team, it’s an unlikely transfer.