Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud is reportedly close to agreeing a new four-year deal with the club, according to reports in Goal.com.
The French international is currently out of action until early 2015 after injuring himself in the 2-2 draw with Everton. The Gunners have since signed Danny Welbeck in a £16 million deal from Manchester United, but Giroud is thought to remain Wenger’s main striker after an impressive 2013/14 campaign.
The report states that the 27 year old has been offered a two-year extension to his current deal that will run until 2018. The fresh terms will lift his salary from £60,000-a-week to the £90,000-a-week mark.
It further states that talks began on the improved deal in the summer as the Frenchman entered the final two years of his current agreement, which runs until 2016. Wenger has sanctioned the renewal even though Giroud broke his foot in the early weeks of the season and is not expected to play again until December.
The striker will shortly become the latest in a long line of Arsenal players to sign a new contract this year, following in the footsteps of Aaron Ramsey, Per Mertesacker, Laurent Koscielny, Santi Cazorla and Tomas Rosicky.
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Giroud arrived at the Emirates Stadium in 2012 after helping French side Montpellier win the Ligue 1 title against the odds. He scored 25 goals in 42 appearances in his final season with MHSC before being snapped up by Wenger for a £9.6 million fee.
In his first season with the Gunners he scored 17 goals in 47 matches, but only 11 of those came in the Premier League. However, he enjoyed a better second season with Arsenal, netting 16 Premier League goals and a total of 22 in 52 matches.
Giroud will face stiffer competition for a first-team place than at any other time in his Arsenal career when he returns from injury. Not only will he need to win his first-team place back from Welbeck, but he may also need to displace the likes of Alexis Sanchez, Theo Walcott, Lukas Podolski and Joel Campbell, all of whom are capable of playing in the centre-forward position.
However, the Frenchman is a different type of striker compared to the aforementioned names as he offers more of a physical presence at the front which other the first team strikers are unable to offer. He needs to be more clinical in front of goal however and if he can become a more ruthless finisher, he can be the ideal forward for Arsenal.
The news of Wenger being prepared to offer him a new four-year deal suggests the Frenchman will remain an integral part of the Gunners’ plans for the foreseeable future.
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