Liverpool have reportedly joined Arsenal and Bayern Munich in the list of clubs who are keeping tabs on Montpellier striker Olivier Giroud. The 25 year old has been a revelation this season, scoring 20 goals in 32 matches to send his club to the top of the Ligue 1 table.
Reds boss Kenny Dalglish and assistant Steve Clarke were in France to watch Montpellier's 1-0 victory at Toulouse at the weekend, according to the Daily Mail. However, Giroud missed a few decent chances in the game, including a penalty. Meanwhile, a few others who have attracted Liverpool's interest in recent days include Montpellier defender Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa and Toulouse midfielder Moussa Sissoko, both of whom were also on the field on Friday.
The report says Dalglish has shortlisted a striker, winger and defender as his targets for this summer. Giroud is rated at around £50 million but reportedly has a release clause at £13.5 million.
The tough part for the Reds will be convincing the Frenchman to leave Montpellier, who lead rivals PSG by five points at the top of their table with just four games to go. They are almost guaranteed Champions League action next season, while Liverpool will only be in the Europa League.
Montpellier playmaker Younes Belhanda and defender Henri Bedimo could also be targets for Dalglish and Clarke, according to French Football Weekly.
The Reds' chiefs were joined in the stands by top Arsenal scout Gilles Grimandi and Bayern Munich general manager Christian Nerlinger. While the Gunners' interest in Giroud is reported on regularly, they are also following Yanga-Mbiwa and Toulouse midfielder Etienne Capoue. It is now expected that the Londoners will make a bid for at least one of the three, in the summer transfer window.
Despite the presence of the scouts and the reported interest from several European clubs, Giroud refused to talk about his future.
"My future? I don't want to talk about it today," Goal.com quoted the striker as saying.
It is not a big surprise to see Premier League heavyweights following the stars of Ligue 1, after the success that Alan Pardew has brought to Newcastle United this season by recruiting French talent such as Hatem Ben Arfa and Yohan Cabaye.