Montpellier ace hints Emirates Stadium move imminent.
Montpellier striker Olivier Giroud has given a strong hint his future could be with Arsenal, a club he has been linked with periodically over the course of the season.
That is because he has had a fairly sensational campaign for his club, who are surprise challengers for the Ligue 1 title, and many teams across Europe have been reported to be interested in signing the 25 year-old Frenchman.
“[Arsenal is] a great club, with my best friend Koscielny,” said Giroud to French media.
“I love the French feel at Arsenal and the atmosphere that is created by the fans. They always support their players.”
“Out of respect to my club though I am not considering my future at the moment and we will decide soon what is best for both parties.”
Giroud reportedly has a €16m (approximately £13.5m) release clause in his contract at Montpellier, which rose last autumn when the player made his France debut.
It could rise again soon, with further increases anticipated depending on factors such as Montpellier’s final league position or Giroud’s participation in European football next season.
“I keep reading that Olivier Giroud has a clause in his contract starting set at ten million, said Montpellier deputy president Laurent Nicollin to the club’s official website recently.
“It’s not that simple.
“The fact that Olivier is now a French international changes the clause, as do future selections or even a possible participation in Euro 2012.
“Nothing is fixed, the amount may increase depending on various parameters.
“Today, the amount is over 16 to 20 million euros, and everything can change again. Olivier has grown with us, he became a French international in the colours of Montpellier, which is of great pride for the club.”
Giroud is a tall striker who has earned comparisons with Manchester City forward Edin Dzeko for his physical presence, heading ability and technique.
Could he be the perfect foil for Robin van Persie next season?