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 By Mike Whalley

Alexandre Lacazette not signing for Liverpool, says Lyon president

Olympique Lyonnais boss Hubert Fournier previews Saturday's match against Nice, when Lyon will be without Ligue 1's top scorer Alexandre Lacazette due to suspension.
Lyon chairman Jean-Michel Aulas believes Alexandre Lacazette can reach the same level as Karim Benzema but thinks he can achieve that at the Ligue 1 club.

Alexandre Lacazette will not be joining Liverpool this summer as the Premier League club cannot afford him, Lyon president Jean Michel Aulas says.

Lacazette, 24, has been linked with a move from the Stade de Gerland to Anfield by French media.

But Aulas says that there has been no approach from the Reds for Lacazette, and there would be no chance of a deal anyway.

Responding to a post on Twitter suggesting that the France international could move to Merseyside, Aulas wrote: "Your information is trash.

"Liverpool have never called, and as they are not playing in the Champions League, they don't have the money, nor would they be able to interest him."

Lacazette has also been linked with Manchester United, Arsenal and Paris Saint-Germain after finishing the recent season as the leading scorer in French Ligue 1 with 27 goals.

Aulas said on May 19 that even a fee of €50 million would not be enough to sign the forward.

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers is looking to add to his attack ahead of next season.

Aston Villa's Christian Benteke and Burnley's out-of-contract striker Danny Ings are his priorities, though, and the Reds will attempt to make progress on their attempts to sign both players in the coming days.

Lacazette signed a contract extension through to 2018 last September, and Aulas has repeatedly stated he plans to build the club's future on the fruits of its youth academy.

With Lyon set to move into a brand new 59,000 capacity stadium in the new year and returning to the Champions League group stage next season, Aulas and the club are in a stronger position than in recent years when they have been forced to trim their squad.

However, Aulas' right-hand man and former Lyon player and coach, Bernard Lacombe, told Le Progres on Monday he feared Lacazette may still leave.

"I would be so happy if he stayed," Lacombe said. "Alex told me that he would be the first scorer in the new stadium. But in football, it's difficult, there are so many parameters that have to be taken into account."

ESPN FC's France correspondent an Holyman contributed to this report

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