Arsenal Ahead In Giroud Race, But Montpellier Willing To Deal With Chelsea Too

BREMEN, GERMANY - FEBRUARY 29: Olivier Giroud of France celebrates after scoring his team's first goal during the International friendly match between Germany and France at Weser Stadium on February 29, 2012 in Bremen, Germany. (Photo by Joern Pollex/Bongarts/Getty Images)

I didn't think that there's be much of interest in RMC.fr's - no, I don't know how reliable they are - article about Arsenal closing in on Montpellier forward Olivier Giroud, but it's nice to be wrong. Although Arsenal look like they're in pole position to nab the striker (and for fairly cheap, too - €12M is the quoted price), Montpellier president Louis Nicollin has indicated he'd be more than happy to deal with Chelsea as well:

Le club de Louis Nicollin préférerait le transférer à Arsenal ou Chelsea pour récupérer Marouane Chamakh ou Romelu Lukaku , en prêt, dans la transaction.

Loosely translated, that means that Montpellier would have preferred to sell to Arsenal or Chelsea because they want one of Marouane Chamakh or Romelu Lukaku on loan. Google translated, it starts talking about Yoann Gourcouff because Google Translate is possessed by some sort of demon witch or something.

Anyway, this is of interest on two fronts. One is that we could probably acquire Olivier Giroud and for fairly cheap if we wanted. If Arsenal are in for him while Robin van Persie is there, he must be willing to play second fiddle, and since Chelsea can offer higher wages it wouldn't be impossible to snatch him out of the Gunners' cold, grasping hands. Secondly, it sounds as though Montpellier could be a completely viable loan option for Lukaku, which would be fantastic - he'd be playing in a competitive league and potentially in Europe too.

So keep an eye on this transfer. I don't expect anything to go through soon, but if Arsenal do buy Giroud and don't send Chamakh the other way, I could definitely see Lukaku heading to France. And if they don't manage to secure that deal, Giroud would be a very nice option for Chelsea anyway.

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