The agent of striker Olivier Giroud has confirmed that his client will not seek a move away from Arsenal during the 2017 January transfer window. The 30-year-old has been reduced to back-up status at the Emirates Stadium since returning from a short post-Euro 2016 break and has made just two starts for Arsene Wenger's across all competitions, neither of which came in the Premier League.
Injury has certainly played a part in those aforementioned struggles. Giroud was sidelined for a month due to a lingering toe issue suffered before he was sent off during a 1-1 draw against Paris Saint-Germain and recently missed the EFL Cup quarter-final defeat to Southampton and Saturday's (3 December) emphatic victory over West Ham United with a thigh problem.
The French international returned to the bench last night and replaced Aaron Ramsey for the final 20 minutes of a Lucas Perez-inspired 4-1 win in Basel that, combined with PSG being surprisingly held to a 2-2 home draw by Bulgarian champions Ludogorets Razgrad, saw Arsenal top their Champions League group for the first time since 2012.
Such a lack of first-team football has led to suggestions that Giroud could be tempted to leave north London next month. The Daily Mirror have previously reported that Serie A duo AC Milan and Napoli are both monitoring his situation, although representative Michael Manuello is adamant that a January departure is not on the horizon.
"Olivier is very well at Arsenal," he told footmercato.net, as per Sky Sports. "He will make his season here. Nothing is possible in January. He has no plans to move during the winter transfer window."
Another key factor behind Giroud's demotion to a peripheral role has been the stellar form of one Alexis Sanchez. While certainly not a natural striker, the Chilean has thrived in the position of late and followed up his brace against Bournemouth with a majestic hat-trick in that 5-1 drubbing of struggling West Ham.
Giroud spoke of his frustration in an interview with L'Equipe last month after returning to a substitute's role during the derby clash with Tottenham Hotspur despite scoring three goals in two matches against Sunderland and Ludogorets, stating that his lack of playing time "cannot go on for too long and cannot happen too often". The former Montpellier forward, who said he was not the type of person to throw his toys out of the pram, also conceded that this might have been his toughest start to a season since moving to English football back in 2012.
Addressing his situation against last month, Giroud confidently stated that he had "no doubts" over his Arsenal future.