Arsenal restart contract extension talks with Olivier Giroud after the striker returns from post-World Cup holiday

The Gunners are looking to tie down Giroud until 2018 even though he has two years still to run on his current deal

Arsenal have restarted contract extension talks with striker Olivier Giroud after he returned from a holiday following France duty at the World Cup, it has been claimed.

Giroud still has two years left on his current deal as he is halfway through the contract he agreed when he joined the club in 2012, but the Gunners are keen to tie down his future having initially started negotiations before he left for the World Cup in Brazil.

With £35m signing Alexis Sanchez arriving at the club this summer, it had been feared that Giroud could be on his way out of the club with the Chile international a direct replacement for the Frenchman with Arsene Wenger looking to switch his new signing to a central role.

But the talks suggest that Wenger sees Giroud and Sanchez compatible in the same team, and with Giroud returning to pre-season training today in time to join the club on their trip to Austria for a pre-season training camp, the two could feature together in the Emirates Cup this weekend.

 

The extension talks suggest that Wenger has forgiven Giroud for his off-the-field antics last season that coincided with a drop in form, although his slump can also be put down to having to carry the burden of leading the attacking line throughout the campaign given that he received very little help from the now-departed pair of Nicklas Bentdner and Park Chu Young.

Giroud’s form last season was a marked improvement on his debut season though despite his rough patch, and he went on to score 22 goals in 51 appearances – an improvement on the 17 goals in 47 matches in his first year in North London.

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The 27-year-old could also face competition from Joel Campbell as the Costa Rican prepares to make his long-awaited debut for the Gunners, having spent the past three seasons on loan after failing to get a work permit since completing his transfer from Deportivo Saprissa in 2011.

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