Arsenal 'Prepared' to Use Olivier Giroud as Makeweight in Kylian Mbappe Pursuit

Tom SunderlandFeatured ColumnistJune 15, 2017

MONACO, MONACO - MAY 17: Kylian Mbappe of Monaco during the French League 1 Championship title celebration following the French Ligue 1 match between AS Monaco and AS Saint-Etienne (ASSE) at Stade Louis II on May 17, 2017 in Monaco, Monaco. (Photo by Jean Catuffe/Getty Images)
Jean Catuffe/Getty Images

Arsenal are reportedly ready to use striker Olivier Giroud as bait in their hopes to sign either AS Monaco wonderkid Kylian Mbappe or Lyon frontman Alexandre Lacazette.

According to James Olley of the London Evening Standard, the Gunners believe offering Giroud in part-exchange will enhance their chances of landing Mbappe, whose transfer fee is "likely to top £100 million."

Arsenal may struggle to tempt Mbappe, arguably the most coveted youngster in the world, without the offer of UEFA Champions League football, however, after missing out on qualification last term for the first time in 20 years.

The competition for Mbappe's signature is already steep, and Sky Sports News reporter Kaveh Solhekol recently wrote he's set for crunch talks with Monaco as a certain European champion lurks in the wings:

Lacazette is the far more cost-effective option of the two, and Olley wrote Arsenal have been quoted a price of £60 million in order to prise him away from Lyon's clutches.

Manager Arsene Wenger has already moved to secure the services of former Schalke left-back Sead Kolasinac on a free transfer, and Bleacher Report's James McNicholas recently envisioned what the team could look like with Mbappe:

It's no wonder the north Londoners are willing to pull out all the stops for a teenage powerhouse who stormed on to the European stage last season, netting 26 goals and recorded 14 assists in 44 games last season.

Giroud, 30, mustered a respectable tally of 12 Premier League goals last term despite making only 11 starts, and French Football Weekly rushed to his defence after scoring in a recent 2-1 defeat to Sweden:

Arsenal have long been searching for a reliable striking force up front, having fielded Alexis Sanchez in the role for much of this season and used Giroud as a back-up option at times.

There is a good chance Mbappe remains at the Stade Louis II beyond this season, however, as Sky Sports' Bryan Swanson reported the Ligue 1 champions wish to keep the teenager for the time being:

Mbappe recently demonstrated his talent to a global audience during England's 3-2 friendly defeat to 10-man France on Tuesday, and former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand was overawed by his impact despite his age:

Many Arsenal fans would gladly swap the older, slower Giroud for a much slicker upgrade in Mbappe, but while the deal may please his club, convincing the player an Emirates Stadium switch is for him is a different matter.

That being said, offering a striker replacement should go a long way to easing Monaco's concerns of where to look for Mbappe's successor as Arsenal refuse to give up their chase for Ligue 1's hottest asset.