Arsenal’s acquisition of Alexandre Lacazette casts a significant doubt over Olivier Giroud’s future with the north London club.
Lacazette may be seen in many quarters as a direct replacement for Chilean striker Alexis Sanchez, who has been persistently linked with a move away from Arsenal this summer, but Arsene Wenger’s willingness to break the Gunners’ transfer record to secure the services of the 26-year-old striker is perhaps indicative that Giroud’s days in north London are also numbered.
Giroud has spent five seasons at Arsenal, but 18 of his 29 Premier League appearances for Wenger’s men last term came from the bench and, ahead of the World Cup in Russia, the 30-year-old striker will be desperate for regular first-team football in order to strengthen his claim for a place in Didier Deschamps’ France squad for next summer’s showpiece..
Everton are believed to be at the head of the queue to secure Giroud’s signature - the Toffees have already flexed their considerable financial muscle this summer and the men from Merseyside are believed to be close to securing a deal that will see Manchester United and England’s top scorer, Wayne Rooney, return to Goodison Park.
Adding Giroud to the squad too would underline Everton's determination to mount a significant challenge for honours in the forthcoming campaign.
West Ham United, too, are believed to be keen to snap up the Arsenal striker and a move to Slaven Bilic’s side could appeal to Giroud. The France international would almost certainly be a first-team regular for the Hammers, while the 30-year-old may wish to stay in London, having joined Wenger’s men from Montpellier back in 2012.
Bilic is acutely aware of the need to strengthen his squad following a bitterly disappointing Premier League campaign last time out and the east Londoners are chalked up as a 3/1 (4.0) shot with Betfair Sportsbook to sign the Gunners’ front man.
Should Giroud opt to turn his back on English football, a return to his homeland may well be tempting. Olympique Lyonnais are, of course, now seeking a replacement for Lacazette, and the Ligue 1 side can be backed at 7/1 (8.0) to snap up the France international.
Everton’s lofty ambitions and financial clout make them rightful favourites to secure Giroud’s services this summer, but with next summer’s World Cup in mind, the lure of regular first-team football in east London may prove tempting and the 3/1 (4.0) quote for West Ham United to sign Olivier Giroud may offer decent value for punters.