Latest reports state Everton are withdrawing their interest in Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud and could target another centre-forward when the winter transfer window opens.
However, they stand a real chance of procuring the French international’s signature in January given how the new season has panned out.
The 31-year-old admitted he was close to an exit in the summer, after Alexis Sanchez spent last season as Arsenal’s first-choice up front, coupled with Danny Welbeck edging out the Frenchman in the number two slot.
But Giroud instead committed to Arsenal, citing that he’ll fight for playing time and was still happy to be at the club.
However, after seeing Arsenal make French striker Alexandre Lacazette their club-record signing in the summer, Giroud has even more competition for a starting place – evident from him failing to start a league game this season.
And now his worst fears have been realised for the national team, with the lack of playing time resulting in Lacazette taking his starting place for France.
Giroud had been a regular in attack for Les Bleus for a number of years, but manager Didier Deschamps opted for the 26-year-old at centre-forward against Bulgaria on Saturday which could raise some alarm bells with the World Cup around the corner.
If Giroud feels his spot with France is under threat going into the 2018 World Cup next summer, he may well consider a January switch – although he did start and score in France’s most recent fixture against Belarus on Tuesday.
However, Everton still aren’t the most attractive proposition if he did want a move as they currently sit 16th in the Premier League, two points off the relegation zone.
The Toffees desperately need a striker, but it’s unlikely Giroud would leave a top-four chasing club for one barely consolidating in the bottom half. Everton have less than two months to rectify their form and prove they can be a club challenging at the other end of the table.
And there is one more stumbling block to the deal – Arsenal’s reluctance to sell mid-season. Wenger won’t look to let any first-team player leave unless a replacement is lined up. Giroud’s deal doesn’t expire until 2019 either so the Gunners can’t be held to ransom.
But if Everton make a lofty offer for the 31-year-old, they stand a chance of signing him, especially given how close the striker said he came to joining in the summer.
Could Giroud be on the market soon? If the Toffees were willing to spend £45m on Swansea midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson, how much would they be willing to spend on Arsenal’s 100-goal striker?