ARSENE Wenger is said to have agreed a fee of almost £13million to take Olivier Giroud to Arsenal from Montpellier, reports tonight suggest.
There is a vast amount of conjecture swirling around that Giroud joining the Gunners could be part of a deal that sees Marouane Chamakh head the other way either on loan or as part of a swap-deal plus cash.
I would be inclined to believe that Chamakh will remain at the Emirates because both the player and the manager intimated as much as last season came to a close.
But it seems that France striker Giroud, 25, who has a chance of facing England tomorrow night in the opening match of Group D Euro2012, one way or another could well be heading to north London.
Al Jazeera first reported that Arsenal have agreed upon a fee with Ligue 1 Montpellier that would bring Giroud to the Emirates next season and the story has gathered momentum as the night progresses.
Giroud, who was top of the Ligue 1 scoring chart with 21 goals last term, has long been touted as a Wenger target with former Gunner and now scout Gilles Grimandi being tasked to follow the striker’s progress and report directly to Wenger.
Chelsea were also said to be in the mix and talking with Montpellier president Louis Nicollin about a possible deal with Romelu Lukaku being offered as a possible makeweight to seal a move. QPR, too, have been reportedly keen on his services.
Nicollin has said he rated Giroud at £50million but the player has a £12.8m release clause in his contract.
We’ll strive to bring you more news as it breaks.
CARL ELDRIDGE – on Twitter @eldomedia