Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Giroud set to join Arsenal as Chamakh heads to Montpellier on loan

Morning Gooners.

The main news today is that Arsenal are moving closer to the signing of Olivier Giroud. While the player is away with France at Euro 2012, the world and his wife are talking about his future once the tournament is over and that looks set to be in north London.

Fresh speculation about Arsene Wenger's interest in the player was generated by the coach of Giroud's club Montpellier, Rene Girard, giving an interview to French radio station RMC.

Girard said:
"Giroud loves England as well as Arsenal. We know Wenger wants him in his team. If they make an offer that's probably where he'll go. 
"It's likely that Giroud had to go to Arsenal. In this case we'ld like to get Chamack on loan but I don't know if it is possible."
Arsene Wenger didn't speak of the player while co-commentating for French broadcaster TF1. Giroud was an unused substitute in the opening game with England yesterday.

While the comments of the Montpellier coach won't do anything to kill off the speculation we're after his star player, it's interesting that we've not made a bid. Giroud has a buy out clause in his contract in the region of 13m euros.

Not knowing about too much about the Frenchman and with Girard keen to bring in Marouane Chamakh as part of the deal, I asked Opta's top man on Ligue 1 David Wall what the comparison of the two strikers was like.

Chamakh was never prolific as a goal scorer but his all round play and ability to hold the ball up was what attracted Wenger too him. Giroud on the other hand likes to take a few shots.  If he does join I'm sure that will be coached out of him!

We don't often see loan deals take place as part of permanent deals but if this one happened it looks as though it could be a good deal for all parties. Chamakh will be able to put himself in the shop window for another club while still playing football at the highest level - Montpellier won the French league last season guaranteeing them Champions League football.

Of course at the moment this is all pie in the sky thinking. Arsenal have yet to submit a bid, Giroud is at the Euros and Ivan Gazidis is off on a PR exercise of south east Asia to generate interest in our forthcoming tour. It's got me thinking... who's left minding the shop?

If Giroud does choose to join Arsenal - he'll know all about the club as one of his closest friend is Laruent Koscielny who he met when they both were playing at Ligue 2 side Tours in 2009 - it does raise the question mark over the future of Robin van Persie.

Arsenal are pessimistic he'll stay. I'm of the opinion he'll probably be off with a big contact offer on the table from Manchester City. I just don't see why with the formation we play Arsene Wenger would bring in a second striker after the signing of Lukas Podolski if it wasn't as a replacement for Robin.

Of course with Chamakh possibly becoming part of the deal, that would change the dynamics of the situation. But the Moroccan has previously indicated that if he returns to France it would only be to Bordeaux. I know loyalty is cheap in football, but you have to believe someone when they say something sometimes? One footballer might have some integrity?

Elsewhere, Alex Oxlade Chamberlain made his tournament debut as an England player yesterday as France and England produced a 1-1 draw.

He said::

"I'm delighted to represent my country and I gave everything. It wasn't about me, it was about getting a result and we will take a draw and get stronger from here. 
"Everything is coming as a surprise to me at the moment. I have to remind myself I was one of the original players picked for the squad so I'm here to do this job and have to make sure I'm ready when called upon."
I think Alex can be happy with his contribution. He did well enough but didn't get the service he would have liked as England failed to retain possession long enough to pass the ball to him.

That's it for today. More tomorrow.

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