We reckon Mikel Arteta has been asked about Alex Lacazette’s contract situation in every press conference for the last three months and, without fail, the Spaniard has provided the same answer – that negotiations are on hold until the end of the season.

Quite why Fleet Street’s finest thought they were going to get a different answer in today’s press conference is beyond us, but you have to admire their persistence.

Anyway, regular as clockwork, Arteta, with the patience of a saint, reiterated: “Yeah, we have discussions as you know and at the end of the season, once we know where we are, we will make a decision all together.

“I don’t want anyone to think about something else that is not that [the remaining matches]. The decision, we agreed, is to do it in the summer and we’re going to do it as soon as the season is finished.”

Asked if the player is happy with a decision to which he’s obviously already agreed [insert rolling eye emoji], Arteta added: “That’s a question for him, but obviously we have to make decisions and we made that decision to finalise that at the end of the season. That’s what we’re going to have to do.”

Arteta had already been asked by this point about Lacazette’s scoring record. He struck an optimistic note, even though it’s becoming increasingly clear that the former Lyon man might never score again*.

“Well I think he’s been very close and that’s why we have to keep pushing him and giving him support that he plays with that confidence and hopefully on Sunday he can do it,” said the manager.


*We’re trying reverse psychology.