Olivier Giroud

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Transfer Rumor Roundup: Dembele, Van Dijk to Arsenal

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With a move for Thomas Lemar taking plenty of time, a report from the Daily Express states that Arsenal may turn their attention to Moussa Dembele instead.

[ MORE: Auba a good fit for Chelsea?

Dembele, 21, impressed at Celtic last season in both the Scottish Premiership and the UEFA Champions League with the French forward scoring 32 goals in 48 games.

Celtic aren’t keen to sell but value Dembele at around $40 million and as Arsenal bang their head against a brick wall with Monaco wanting over $60 million for Lemar, perhaps the French U-21 international would be a good addition and add more pace to Arsene Wenger‘s attack after he already spent $68 million on Alexandre Lacazette this summer.

Per the report, Arsenal are growing increasingly worried that Alexis Sanchez may leave this summer (newsflash, Arsene, it may well happen) and are planning ahead, but with Olivier Giroud also attracting plenty of interest it appears the Gunners’ frontline is about to get a serious overhaul.

Dembele is a wanted man after last season but is he ready to perform week in, week out in the PL? Don’t forget, just over 12 months ago he was still at Fulham in the Championship. Still, a young, exciting French forward is right up Wenger’s street.


The same report also claims that Arsenal are also lining up a bid for Virgil Van Dijk. And in true Arsenal fashion they’re stating the Gunners are offering $58.7 million for the Dutchman… even though every other club has been told Saints want close to $80 million for him.

Van Dijk, 26, has yet to play for Saints in preseason as he recovers from a serious foot injury which saw him miss the second half of last season.

Liverpool have apologized over their pursuit of the Dutch center back earlier in the summer and with Southampton said to be unwilling to sell to Jurgen Klopp‘s men and putting a price of over $80 million on his head, this offer from Arsenal seems slightly farcical.

Are they gambling that Van Dijk is unhappy about how the Liverpool situation and the Saints’ captain wants out? If the gamble pays off then Arsenal would get themselves one oft he best center baccks in the Premier League who is capable of playing out of the back and surely he’d slot into their newfound 3-4-3 formation perfectly.

If they can push the price towards $70 million then maybe, just maybe, they can land another huge deal in the transfer market this summer.

Giroud, Lacazette play together in Arsenal preseason win

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Arsenal followed up its friendly win over Sydney FC with another, topping Western Sydney Wanderers 3-1 in their final match in its tour of Australia.

Most notably from the win is the deployment of both Alexandre Lacazette and Olivier Giroud together on the pitch for a significant amount of time. The system, with Giroud leading the attack and Lacazette behind him in a 3-4-2-1, still maintained Arsene Wenger‘s love for a lone striker while still looking to get the most out of both French attackers.

The result? A first-half goal for Giroud, while Lacazette was somewhat silenced as the former Lyon striker was unable to find a consistent presence in the opposition box.

Giroud’s goal was a reminder of his finishing ability as he expertly shucked free from his defender and calmly redirected a cut-back from Nacho Monreal who had dribbled in along the end-line.

With the arrival of Lacazette, his fellow Frenchman has seemed an afterthought at the Emirates, but the deployment of them together could be an attempt by Wenger to get them both on the field without sacrificing his preferred attacking setup. Still, there is work to be done if that is Wenger’s goal, and while Lacazette likely remains the preferred option if one must be dropped, Giroud is doing his best to fight for his place, something he has promised to do on multiple occasions this summer.

Analyzing contenders in Chelsea’s hunt for star striker

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With Diego Costa‘s Chelsea future seemingly non existent, who will Antonio Conte turn to for goals this season?

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The Chelsea boss has to first offload Costa, which is proving problematic given the striker only wants to re-join Atletico Madrid and their current transfer ban is making his departure complex.

One thing which is easy to understand is that Conte wants Costa out and the sooner the 28-year-old Spaniard departs, the sooner his replacement can arrive.

After losing out on Romelu Lukaku to Manchester United, Conte has seen his options diminish when it comes to signing a new striker to spearhead Chelsea’s quest for success in the Premier League and the UEFA Champions League.

Below is a look a the contenders to replace Costa, with all five players linked with a move to Chelsea over recent weeks (or in Alvaro Morata’s case, many months).


Alvaro Morata (Real Madrid) – Transfer value, $103 million
With James Rodriguez leaving Real Madrid for Bayern Munich on a two-year loan deal, it appears Morata may well stay with the reigning European champs after all. Chelsea, and Conte, have been long-time admirers of Morata and the Spanish international is about to enter his prime. If he stays at Real Madrid he will still be behind Cristiano Ronaldo, Karem Benzema and Gareth Bale in the pecking order, but Zinedine Zidane appears to want to play the 24-year-old more. If he doesn’t, perhaps this deal happens later in August but Chelsea will surely want their main man to be in place by the start of the season on Aug. 11. Real’s valuation is another stumbling block.

Andrea Belotti (Torino) – Transfer value, $114 million
He has become an oft mentioned target for both Man United and Chelsea during the summer window and the Italian forward has had two impressive seasons for Torino, scoring 38 goals in 70 Serie A games. “The Rooster” possess a powerful shot, is a clinical finisher and is quick off the mark. He is everything a modern forward should be, hence why clubs around Europe are willing to pay big money to sign him. That said, Torino are holding out for $114 million and that doesn’t seem likely. Belotti is just 23 years old and has never played in European competition, but he does have four goals in nine games for the Italian national team.

Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang (Borussia Dortmund) – Transfer value, $80 million
Reports state that Dortmund are willing to let the 28-year-old leave for $80 million this summer and he could be just the man Chelsea need. The price is high, but Aubameyang has pedigree in the UCL and he led the Bundesliga in goals last season nwith 31 from 32 games. He can run the channels, lead the line and is good in the air. The Gabon striker would appear to be the perfect fit for what Chelsea need and he’s used to playing in a fluid front three from his time at Dortmund. If Chelsea can get the fee down to $70 million, then surely he will be their first choice to replace Costa.

Christian Benteke (Crystal Palace) – Transfer value, $60 million
Palace aren’t willing to sell Benteke this summer but with Everton and Chelsea reportedly interested, could a bid of over $60 million twist their arm? Benteke, 26, scored 17 goals in a struggling Palace side last season and his pedigree as a clinical finisher is clear for all to see. Benteke’s arrival may not wow the Chelsea faithful, but if Conte is looking for a pure finisher who can hold the ball up and be a menace in the air, Benteke is your man.

Fernando Llorente (Swansea City) – Transfer value, $15 million
A bit out of left field, but there’s definite interest in Llorente from Chelsea with Conte working with him at Juventus in the past. Llorente scored 15 goals in a poor Swansea side last season and despite his broken arm, which means he’ll likely miss the start of the season, the Spanish veteran (32) has plenty to offer. Signing Llorente would mean Conte backs Michy Batshuayi to be his main striker next season and that seems unlikely given the lack of playing time for the Belgian last season.

Quick look at the other options: Even though Alexis Sanchez would be perfect, it’s unlikely Arsenal will sell him to a London and Premier League rival, and the same could be said for Olivier Giroud. Daniel Sturridge would be an intriguing buy, but after his tumultuous spell at Chelsea in the past a return seems unlikely. Mauro Icardi from Inter Milan is a poacher but the Argentine would cost big bucks from Inter Milan and another cheap but potentially solid option is Mexico’s Javier Hernandez with his contract at Bayer Leverkusen said to have a release clause of less than $18 million.

Wenger gives update on Alexis Sanchez; talks transfers

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Arsene Wenger does not believe Alexis Sanchez is going anywhere.

[ MORE: Lukaku signs for Man United ]

Well, those were his words but the way he spoke in Sydney, Australia, there wasn’t too much conviction in his voice.

Speaking in Sydney after Arsenal touched down for their preseason tour of Australia and the Far East, Wenger told reporters that outlets in Chile were incorrect when stating Sanchez had told Wenger he wants to leave.

Was this the case?

“No,” Wenger said. “Nobody knows today if Sanchez will be in the final year of his contract next season, because he can as well extend his contract with us at the start of the season or during the season, so it’s not necessarily the last year of his contract with Arsenal.”

If Sanchez does leave the Emirates, it appears Wenger has plenty of players in mind to replace him.

Wenger insisted that Olivier Giroud wanted to remain at Arsenal despite the club-record signing of striker Alexandre Lacazette last week — Wenger revealed Lacazette will make his debut against Sydney FC on Thursday, plus Arsenal’s new striker will wear the no.9 jersey — while he also raved about Kylian Mbappe from Monaco and declared his interest in signing another Monaco star, winger Thomas Lemar.

The Frenchman admitted Lemar is “a player we look at” and that “there will be more signings” but there’s nothing more concrete at the moment.

Arsenal is said to have had one bid turned down for Lemar, with Monaco demanding over $60 million for the 21-year-old French international.

As for Mbappe, Wenger revealed Arsenal’s interest in the 18-year-old but also said “all of Europe has a red carpet open for him” as Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain and others chase the teenage sensation who helped Monaco win Ligue 1 and reach the UEFA Champions League semifinals last season.

The fact that Wenger was talking more about ins than outs will please Arsenal fans, but those lingering doubts over Sanchez and Mesut Ozil sticking around grow each and every day they don’t sign a new deal. It appears any potential signing day is no closer with Sanchez still on vacation after his summer excursions for Chile in the Confederations Cup.

Reports: Everton after Giroud to replace Lukaku

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With the Romelu Lukaku domino having fallen, the striker market may be reacting quickly.

According to a number of reports in England, most notably the Liverpool Echo, Everton is looking to pry Olivier Giroud from Arsenal in order to replace Lukaku at the head of the Toffees attack.

Giroud has, on multiple occasions, stated his desire to stay at Arsenal and fight for his place, but with the Gunners having confirmed the capture of Alexandre Lacazette, Giroud will have a tall task to get regular playing time. Still, with the Europa League sure to fill up the fixture list, there will be lots of minutes to fight for at the Emirates, which both Giroud and Lacazette will hope to capture with the World Cup around the corner.

[ MORE: Rooney in Liverpool to complete Everton medical ]

Everton has brought in Wayne Rooney to bolster the attack, but the 31-year-old has shown considerable decline from his Manchester United heyday. The Toffees still need a reliable frontman to lead the way. Everton will be in the Europa League as well, but into the qualifying round.

Giroud has three years left on his Arsenal contract after recently signing an extension.

At a reported price of $26 million, Giroud would be an inexpensive option in an otherwise expensive striker market. Thus, Everton will have plenty of competition from other Premier League sides including West Ham, who have been linked with the Frenchman before.