The rumor mill tends to slow its churn in the weeks after the January transfer window closes. But even in the relative calm that has settled in, unfounded transfer linkages still seep from the darkest corners of the Internet. Today, the Express has Lyon forward Alexandre Lacazette headed to Liverpool. This is not the first time that this link has surfaced, but the substance behind this particular version of the rumor is even more comically minimalistic than usual.
The source used is not much of a source at all. Journalist Julien Laurens, dubbed a "Ligue 1 expert" by the Express and used as the sole source of the story, doesn't even say that Lacazette will leave Lyon. "It's his first really big season and I'm just not sure if he is good enough already for a top-four club in England," Laurens said.
Yet the Express twists one line to make it sound like Laurens is reporting something that he is not. "Ligue 1 expert Julien Laurens revealed that Brendan Rodgers is leading Arsene Wenger in the race for Lacazette's signature, explaining: 'I think if Lyon win the league, he will go," wrote Express writer Anthony Chapman. But in the very next line, Laurens is quoted as saying that "if [Lyon] qualify for the Champions League by finishing second or third I think he might give it another year."
As for the Liverpool link? Laurens thinks that "Brendan Rodgers really likes [Lacazette]," giving the article some definitely not speculative or opinionated substance.
The 23-year-old, who has 21 goals and 5 assists in 22 games this season, is unlikely to stay at Lyon for his entire career. However, there doesn't seem to be much behind the most recent batch of exit rumors, and it wouldn't be too surprising to see him stay in France for at least one more season to develop further.