Giroud was signed to replace Van Persie, admits Arsenal scout

Gilles Grimandi has revealed that the north London club are realistic about their chances of keeping the Dutchman, who is out of contract at the end of next season
Arsenal scout Gilles Grimandi has admitted that recently signed striker Olivier Giroud is a direct replacement for wantaway captain Robin van Persie.

The 28-year-old, who scored 30 Premier League goals last season, last week announced his intention not to extend his deal with the north London club, which currently has just one year remaining.

8/1 Robin van Persie is 8/1 to be the top Premier League goalscorer in 2012-13 with Paddy Power
And former Gunners defender Grimandi has now revealed that the capture of the former Montpellier forward was made with the Dutchman's future in mind.

Speaking to French website, Grimandi said: “Was the recruitment of Giroud made to compensate for his [Van Persie’s] departure? Yes, we worked to avoid being cornered.

“We want him to stay home but he is left with one year on his contract so it is complicated.

“At Arsenal, there is a healthy atmosphere, he’s been here for eight years and he has a real commitment to the club.”

Grimandi also conceded that the former Feyenoord striker, who joined the club for £2.75 million in 2004, has his price.

“If there is a great offer and if he wants to leave, it will be difficult to keep him,” Grimandi added.

“I would never have thought that players such as Thiago Silva [the AC Milan defender] could be transferable and that was the case at a time. There are parameters you cannot handle.”