Olivier Giroud

Wenger says comeback hero Giroud “decided to stay”

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Following the wild 4-3 win over Leicester City that opened the 2017/18 Premier League season, Arsene Wenger told the media that he gave Olivier Giroud the opportunity to leave Arsenal, but that the Frenchman “wants to stay.”

“I opened the door for him [to leave] at some stage,” Wenger told reporters at the post-match press conference, “because it’s important for him to play but I don’t want him to go. He wants to stay. It was one of the great days when he decided to stay.”

[ MORE: Giroud scores late winner as Arsenal beats Leicester 4-3 ]

When pressed again if there’s still a chance Giroud could leave before the window closes, Wenger persisted with, “It is a determined no.”

The signing of Alexandre Lacazette and the presence of Danny Welbeck has seen Giroud lose his already shaky starting place on the team. Last year, Giroud started just 11 games, with Wenger preferring to use Alexis Sanchez at the head of the attack even with Welbeck injured.

On Friday, with Sanchez injured for the Premier League opener, Wenger started Welbeck and Lacazette up front but brought Giroud on with 67 minutes to go. The Frenchman scored with five minutes left in regulation to give Arsenal a 4-3 win.

Clearly Giroud still has a role to play on the Gunners squad, with Wenger calling it a “relief” that the 30-year-old striker chose to stay.

Arsenal 4-3 Leicester City: Super subs complete wild Gunners comeback

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  • Lacazette scores 1st PL goal 2 minutes in
  • Leicester hit twice against the run of play
  • Welbeck equalizes on stroke of HT
  • Subs Ramsey, Giroud complete comeback

The Premier League opened in wild fashion at The Emirates as the Arsenal defense crumbled time and time again, but were rescued by substitutes Aaron Ramsey and Olivier Giroud, who each scored in the final six minutes to bring the Gunners from 3-2 down to a 4-3 win.

Arsenal started brilliantly and struck just two minutes in as the Gunners pinged the ball around the box perfectly. Hector Bellerin controlled a switch and cut the ball to Mohamed Elneny outside the top of the box. The Egyptian flicked the ball over the defense perfectly to the head of Lacazette waiting at the back post, and he poked a stunningly accurate header just between Kasper Schmeichel and the post.

[ MORE: Arsenal shows fighting spirit | 3 Things Learned ]

It wouldn’t last long. Just two minutes later, Leicester City hit back. The Foxes played a short corner eventually whipped in by Marc Albrighton to the far post, where new boy Harry Maguire headed it back in front of net for Shinji Okazaki who put his head to the ball from point-blank range for the equalizer.

The Gunners reclaimed control of the match after conceding, and bullied Leicester City off the ball whenever they stole possession. Arsenal nearly went back in front after some beautiful one-touch passing built up to a sliding Danny Welbeck shot, but his goalbound effort was blocked by Harry Maguire.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Despite that, Leicester City took their few chances and went shockingly in front against the run of play. Granit Xhaka gave the ball away poorly in the Arsenal half, and Albrighton was there to deliver another fabulous cross. It fell right at the feet of a streaking Jamie Vardy who bagged the easiest of tap-in goals.

Arsenal started to fall apart after conceding the lead, giving the ball away constantly and looking sliced open at the back. Okazaki came close to a second goal, heading yet another fabulous Albrighton cross just wide right.

The Gunners did get back level just before the break in first-half stoppage time with what looked like a prayer. A scuffed shot by a wheeling Lacazette clipped a defender and fell right into the path of Sead Kolasinac, who was free on goal with Welbeck, and he fed the England international who tapped in.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ] 

After the break, the Gunners defense fell asleep again as Vardy snuck in front of Xhaka and headed in off a corner before the hour mark to put Leicester City up 3-2.

After going behind a second time, Arsenal again pushed forward and put Leicester on the back foot. They came agonizingly close as Schmeichel saved well on a deep effort from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. Schmeichel was required again four minutes later as he smothered a shot from Bellerin. Arsene Wenger brought on Aaron Ramsey and Olivier Giroud, and moved a host of players into unnatural positions in a desperate attempt to put on pressure.

That apparently did the trick, as Arsenal would complete the wild comeback. First, it was Ramsey in the 84th minute to finish from a tight angle after an expert side-footed assist from Xhaka. Then, just two minutes later, the hero Giroud headed off the underside of the crossbar just over the line for the win.

Transfer Rumor Roundup: Giroud to Dortmund; Nainggolan to Chelsea, Man United

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Olivier Giroud has admitted he is unsure if he will be an Arsenal player next season and the vultures already appear to be circling.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

The Daily Mirror reports that up to five clubs want to sign the 30-year-old striker, with Borussia Dortmund the latest to express their interest.

Are Dortmund preparing for the exit of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang? Let’s wait and see, but there’s no doubt that Giroud would be a hit in the Bundesliga with his phsyical play and aerial ability perfect for a team like Dortmund who love to get the ball wide early and often, then cause havoc with crosses into the box.

Per the report Everton, West Ham, AC Milan and Marseille are all interested in signing Giroud who has been pushed further down the pecking order at Arsenal after the arrival of club-record signing Alexandre Lacazette for $64.1 million. Ironically Giroud starts ahead of Lacazette for the French national team, but it appears that won’t be the case at Arsenal.

Giroud and Lacazette both came on as second half subs in Arsenal’s 2-0 friendly win against Sydney FC in Australia on Thursday, with Lacazette scoring on his Gunners debut.

It appears increasingly likely that Giroud will be playing elsewhere this season as his five-year stay at Arsenal is coming to an end. He’s won three FA Cups and scored 98 goals in 226 games in all competitions for the Gunners but with his role a bit-part one last season, he can expect more of the same and that’s not what he needs in a World Cup year.


Radja Nainggolan could become the new Romelu Lukaku. Confused?

The Daily Mail reports that Manchester United and Chelsea are set to tussle for Nainggolan in the same way they battled it out for Lukaku and we all know how that ended up. Ah. The penny has dropped.

Nainggolan has been a long-time target for plenty of Premier League clubs and it appears United may make a move for the Belgian international with Tiemoue Bakayoko heading to Chelsea and reports stating the Blues are unwilling to sell Nemanja Matic to United and their former boss Jose Mourinho.

Reports also state that United also want to sign Eric Dier from Tottenham Hotspur, but with Spurs seemingly not keen to do that deal United may turn to 29-year-old Nainggolan.

A true terrier, the man with the blonde Mohawk has been a sensation for Roma since joining in 2014 but it is believed new Sporting Director Monchi may be willing to let him leave. Imagine Nainggolan and Ander Herrera snapping into tackles in United’s engine room? Very Mourinho-esque.

Per the report, Antonio Conte is a big fan of Nainggolan and is willing to add him along with Bakayoko as Chelsea’s boss wants more protection for his defense from his midfielders. All of this sets up an intriguing few weeks in the window as United and Chelsea continue to battle it out for the same players.

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.

Transfer Rumor Roundup: Salah medical, Giroud to West Ham

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Olivier Giroud has already stated this summer that he hopes to stay at Arsenal and fight for his place, saying, “my future is written at Arsenal for now.” He may not get the chance.

According to Sky Sports, West Ham is preparing a bid for the Frenchman, and the Gunners are keen to listen. Giroud lost his starting place last season as Arsene Wenger deployed Alexis Sanchez as a lone striker, and with Arsenal seemingly a favorite to sign Kylian Mbappe, Giroud’s place could become even more precarious.

The Sky report didn’t give any other details on the story, even admitting that Giroud is one of many attacking players that the Hammers are interested in, including Chelsea castaway Michy Batshuyai, Manchester City youngster Kelechi Iheanacho, and Middlesbrough lightning rod Adama Traore. Even so, the transfer would make sense given that Giroud wouldn’t have to move from London and the Hammers struggled with finishing last season.

The 30-year-old signed a new Arsenal contract in January that runs through the summer of 2020, so his future is firmly in the hands of his club.


According to Egyptian publication KingFut, AS Roma has successfully come to an agreement with Liverpool for winger Mohamed Salah and the 25-year-old will fly to England to complete his medical on Tuesday.

[ MORE: Saturday’s transfer rumor roundup ]

The report states the agreed transfer fee amounts to a whopping $50 million, which includes bonuses. That would be a record sale for Roma, smashing their previous record set by the $36 million sale of Miralem Pjanic to Juventus just last summer.

Salah had a fantastic season this past campaign, scoring 15 Serie A goals for Roma and assisting 13 more despite missing six weeks on African Cup of Nations duty. The move also represents a return to the Premier League for the Egyptian, after he was unable to crack the Chelsea lineup, making just 13 Premier League appearances for the Blues in a loan-filled Chelsea stint.


There have been conflicting reports concerning AS Monaco midfielder Fabinho, but it appears now that Premier League clubs may have missed out. According to French television channel Telefoot, Fabinho has decided he wishes to join PSG next season, much to the dismay of his current club and those chasing his signature.

The report states that, because Fabinho is under contract at Monaco until 2021, the club retains most of the control in the transfer story, and therefore could potentially reject a bid from a Ligue 1 rival such as PSG, or at the very least could charge them a premium. However, the defending champions have already prepared for Fabinho’s imminent departure this summer, signing his replacement in Zulte Waregam midfielder Soualiho Meite.

Fabinho has reportedly been a target for a number of Premier League teams, most notably Manchester United, although recent reports state the Red Devils have made Eric Dier a priority over the 23-year-old Brazilian.


Don’t expect the Gianluigi Donnarumma saga to end anytime soon. After AC Milan released the details of their contract offer to the 18-year-old goalkeeper yesterday – which was rejected – today the Italian’s agent Mino Raiola has announced he will hold a press conference.

It’s unclear what he will discuss, and there are reports that he could leave the door open for AC Milan to continue negotiations. Donnarumma and Raiola have taken plenty of heat for the decision to leave the San Siro in search of a massive payday, and that only intensified after the club publicized its sizeable final offer.


Despite the near-completion of the deal for Mohamed Salah, Liverpool has been linked with yet another winger. According to Portuguese publication A Bola, the Reds are in for expensive Sporting wide player Gelson Martins.

The report values him at upwards of $56 million, saying that Liverpool has already seen an offer of $45 million rejected.

The 22-year-old Sporting youth product has six caps for the Portuguese national team and had a stellar season last year, notching six goals and 13 assists in the Portuguese top flight, helping Sporting to a third place finish.