Former Everton manager Ronald Koeman has revealed he was very close to signing Olivier Giroud from Arsenal in the summer.

Giroud could have left Arsenal for more playing time following the arrival Alexandre Lacazette. Everton were the most heavily linked during the summer, but the 31-year-old opted to stay at Arsenal and fight for his place.

This has since been confirmed by Ronald Koeman, who has come to regret not signing a striker during Everton’s spending spree. “I had Olivier Giroud in the building,” he said, as reported by the Express.

“He would have fitted perfectly but, at the very last moment, he decided that he’d rather live in London and stay at Arsenal. That was really hard to swallow. You tell me, where you can get a better striker?”

Koeman was sacked as Everton manager after their 5-2 loss to Arsenal last weekend. Despite investing £140m in new talent in the summer, the Toffees won just two of their opening nine Premier League matches and struggled for creativity and goals.

The sale of Romelu Lukaku to Manchester United had a huge impact, and they failed to adequately replace him. It’s not been the best season for Giroud either, with the Frenchman becoming second choice striker at Arsenal.

His only starts have come in the Carabao Cup and the Europa League. In the Premier League, he has to make do with cameos off the substitutes’ bench. The 31-year-old has three goals this season.

The first was a late winner against Leicester on the opening day of the campaign, the second was a penalty against BATE Borisov, while his third was an outstanding overhead kick against Red Star Belgrade.

Giroud recently won the Puskas Award for his scorpion kick goal against Crystal Palace last season. His future may still be in doubt if he continues to be overlooked in the Premier League, although it’s unknown if Everton will come back in for him.