Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud would be a good fit for Napoli amid reports the France international is being lined up as the makeweight in a €50m [£41.7m, $55m] swap deal for Gonzalo Higuain, according to the player's agent. The 29-year-old has become a figure of derision among Gunners supporters and his exit after four seasons at The Emirates Stadium could be looming.
Italian publication Calciomercato understands that the north Londoners have submitted a player-plus-cash offer in an attempt to lure Higuain to the club, with Giroud going in the other direction in part-exchange. Napoli president Aurelio de Laurentiis has continually resisted interest in the Argentina hitman but has previously said an offer of £64.7m would be enough to trigger a move.
Last season's Premier League runners-up Arsenal are hopeful that the financial package presented to Napoli will be enough to see Higuain move to England while allowing them to offload Giroud, who netted 17 goals in all competitions last term. The Frenchman's forward has been touted for a move to Italy by his representative, though there is not yet an offer from Napoli.
"If he was asked to leave, then we would evaluate options," agent Michael Manuello told Radio CRC, according to Goal.com. "There is no fear from Olivier about possibly going to Napoli. It is a magnificent city. In Campania, my client could lead a wonderful life.
"Not to mention that the type of game played by [Napoli boss Maurizio] Sarri could enhance the quality of a centre forward like him. Olivier is an Arsenal player. So far there has not been any communication [with Arsenal] or contact with Napoli. If Arsenal tell us to leave, then things change."
Such have been regularity of Giroud's inadequate displays for Arsenal, the club have been constantly linked with moves for forwards – with Higuain's name often mentioned. But speaking last summer Giroud said he would welcome further competition should the club sanction a deal for a new forward.
"You have to deal with that [competition] all the time and it helped me be a better player," said Giroud according to the club's official website. "People are always talking about different players. I focus on myself and try to improve my game. As a team we improve and I am happy with that.
"I don't have a precise target [for the new season] but I always want to improve, so I want to score more goals than last year. It would be nice to score at least 15 or 20 goals. My best record is 16 in the Premier League and I want to beat that. I have a team target to win one more trophy, a fourth one since I arrived here. I really want to win one more and why not the league this year?"