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Alexandre Lacazette has confirmed he is in talks with a number of clubs ahead of the expiry of his Arsenal contract and outlined his desire to return to the Champions League.

Lacazette, Arsenal’s current captain, becomes a free agent at the end of the season.

That is when the Gunners intend to make a decision on his future though the 30 year-old is already free to negotiate with foreign clubs.

Lacazette said: ‘I am in discussions with a lot of clubs. I am open.’

Lacazette joined Arsenal from Lyon in 2017 and hinted at a possible return to his former club.

Speaking to Canal Plus, he said: ‘I have never cut contact with Lyon since I left. I try to return to the club once or twice a year to see the medical staff because we are really close. Lyon knows that I am free, they have my information.

‘It’s a bit more complicated [if they fail to qualify for Europe]. I want to play in Europe, it’s been a long time since I played in the Champions League, I’m missing it.

‘It’s a little more complicated, nothing is impossible in life, but it’s a little more complicated.’

Lacazette missed Arsenal’s 1-0 defeat at Southampton which dented their hopes of qualifying for the Champions League due to Covid and is a doubt for their upcoming games against Chelsea and Manchester United.

Martin Odegaard captained Arsenal from the start for the first time against Southampton in the absence of Lacazette and also the injured Kieran Tierney.

And Sportsmail understands there is an emerging feeling held by some within the Gunners dressing room that the Norwegian is in pole position to be handed the honour permanently next season.

Odegaard was named Norway captain in March and Arteta has talked up the leadership qualities of the 23 year-old, who joined permanently from Real Madrid last summer.

Arteta said last week: ‘Time will tell [if it’s too early to make him captain]. He is developing in the right direction.

‘The most important thing is the respect and admiration he gets from his teammates.

‘He represents everything we want in this club. He is a good alternative.

‘His leadership skills are different than how leadership is defined by many people. He has some very special abilities that we would develop and get out of him.

‘He needed the right environment, he needed to feel important, which has been difficult for him to feel the last couple of years.’

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