Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud is ready to commit his future the Gunners – just two months after claiming his days at The Emirates Stadium could be numbered. The France international is out of contract in the summer of 2018, having made over 200 appearances for the North London outfit in nearly four years at the club.
The 30-year-old has gone from bit part to star this season, scoring in each of his last four starts for Arsene Wenger's side. Those goals have included the winners against West Bromwich Albion and Preston North End (in the FA Cup), as well as the 'scorpion' goal against Crystal Palace and stoppage time equaliser against AFC Bournemouth.
But speaking in November, Giroud cast doubt over his Arsenal future by admitting he was expecting to run down his contract with the club having become "disappointed" with the lack of opportunities. But the Frenchman has seemingly U-turned on that pledge and is now ready to sign a new deal.,
"We're on the verge of reaching an agreement for an extension," Giroud told French television station Telefoot. "It's also a sign of confidence and I want to continue my adventure here in this Arsenal family, and I feel very good here. When I spoke with the manager, he always kept telling me that I'm an important player. I know what I'm capable of and it's just a case of being patient, working hard in training and waiting for your hour to come."
In the absence of Per Mertesacker, Laurent Koscielny and Petr Cech, Giroud was handed the Arsenal armband for the FA Cup third-round clash at Preston. Wenger later praised the player's leadership qualities after his late goal claimed victory at Deepdale.
"He scored many recently goals," the manager admitted. "In the squad, everybody contributes. It's not about 11 and he is at the moment in good form. So for one month he scores goal after goal. I named him captain, I like to rotate the captaincy. He went through a period where he was of course in discomfort because he didn't play and during this period that was quite long. He kept his focus and worked, I think he has shown leadership qualities so I made him captain today."