Olivier Giroud's Agent Rules out Arsenal Exit, Targets Contract Extension

Ben BlackmoreFeatured ColumnistMarch 25, 2014

Chelsea's Cesar Azpilicueta, right, and Arsenal's Olivier Giroud vie for the ball during the English Premier League soccer match between Chelsea and Arsenal at Stamford Bridge stadium in London, Saturday, March 22, 2014. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
Kirsty Wigglesworth/Associated Press

Reports of a summer exit for Olivier Giroud from Arsenal are so wide of the mark that the truth is actually the polar opposite, claims agent Michael Manuello. 

Giroud’s representative says the French striker will sit down for contract-extension talks at the end of the season, bringing an end to growing speculation that he will return to France.

Manuello was quoted by calciomercato.it, per Sky Sports, saying:

I read about Juventus and Roma, but the truth is that there has been no contact with these clubs or with other ones. Juve were interested, it is true, but that was before he moved to Arsenal.

He's very settled in London and the club is happy with him. I think there is no possibility he might change club.

At the end of the season we will meet with the Gunners to discuss a contract extension.

Giroud’s future has been cast into doubt ever since his private life entered the public domain. Back in February, the striker was forced to apologise for “taking a female companion back to his room,” as reported by the Daily Mail’s Neil Ashton.

On Feb. 18 Giroud tweeted to clarify that he did not cheat on his wife, stating per ESPN: “Yes I made a mistake but not I have not committed adultery!”

Alastair Grant/Associated Press

A day later he was left on the bench for arguably Arsenal’s biggest game of the season against Bayern Munich, a home tie the Gunners lost 2-0 as youngster Yaya Sanogo started up front.

Wenger later claimed Giroud had been “rested” in that game, per the Independent’s James Orr, but the timing of such a decision raised plenty of questions over the Frenchman’s long-term future.

More recently, reports emerged that Giroud’s wife had ordered the player to seek a move away from Arsenal this summer, in order to rescue their relationship back in France. The Mirror’s Sam Adams reported on the story, which first emerged in the Sun:

A source told the Sun on Sunday: "She's agreed to take him back, but only on the condition they leave London and England.

"He's desperate to save the marriage because he knows how stupid he's been - so he is going along with what she wants."

However, Manuello’s comments on Tuesday strongly suggest Giroud is planning to remain in the Arsenal shirt, having enjoyed his best season for the club.

He has scored 12 league goals in 28 outings this term, registering seven assists in those games, according to WhoScored. Wenger has allowed his compatriot to lead the line for most of the season, and Arsenal’s reliance upon Giroud has been staggering at times.

That reliance has seen his performance levels decrease as the season has gone on, prompting the Daily Telegraph’s Paul Hayward to criticise his recent outing at Tottenham:

Nevertheless, when on top form, Giroud offers Arsenal an excellent target man who links play intelligently and provides a reasonable goal return.

Arsenal need to add to their forward options rather than lose one, so news of Giroud’s commitment should be viewed positively by the London club.

However, Wenger must not rest easy in the knowledge that Giroud will be around next term. If he wants the Premier League to return to Arsenal, he must ensure Giroud is an option, not a certainty next season.