Olivier Giroud has told French broadcaster Telefoot that he is close to signing a new contract at Arsenal.
What’s the word?
The Frenchman’s future looked to be in some doubt in the early stages of the season when he failed to get a game under manager Arsene Wenger.
The 30-year-old featured just three times – all after coming off the bench – in the Gunners’ first nine Premier League matches.
Earlier this week, Italian publication Calciomercato reported that a handful of Serie A clubs could be sniffing around due to Giroud having 18 months left on his current deal.
However, the man himself has told French TV that he and the club are close to reaching an agreement over an extended stay at the Emirates.
The forward is quoted as saying: “We are about to reach an agreement for an extension [to my contract]. It was also a gesture of confidence, I want to continue the adventure here in this family of Arsenal. I feel good here.
“When I spoke to the coach, he always told me that I was an important player. I know what I am capable of. I just needed to be patient, to work in training and wait for my hour to come.”
Is Giroud worth a long-term contract?
Now that he has entered his 30s, the forward will face a fight to keep his place in the first team, particularly when younger talent comes through.
Wenger used to have an ‘over-30s rule’, which meant that older players would receive one-year contracts as opposed to lengthy deals, but he seems to have relaxed that stance over the years.
Some Arsenal fans might not have felt troubled had Giroud left the club this month, based on his failure to earn a place in the team at the start of the season.
The Frenchman has since turned things around, scoring four goals in as many games. His last two strikes in particular have been crucial ones.
Giroud’s goal against Bournemouth in the 92nd minute earned a dramatic point for Arsenal, and he scored the winner with one minute of normal time remaining in last weekend’s comeback triumph over Preston North End in the FA Cup third round.
Keeping Giroud would be the right call for the Gunners as he has shows his desire to fight for his place, and can also be an impact player off the bench.