France international Olivier Giroud has revealed that he almost signed for Champions League finalists Bayern Munich last summer before his transfer to Arsenal.
The 26-year-old moved to the Emirates in a £13 million deal after finishing as the top scorer in Ligue 1 last season to help Montpellier claim their first ever championship.
Giroud who was included in the France squad for the European Championships in 2012, attracted the interest of the Bundesliga champions but they eventually signed Mario Mandžukić instead after his impressive performances for Croatia.
“My agent spoke to them and it was approved by people at Bayern,” Giroud told the Mirror. “But they wanted to wait for the Euros and Mandžukić had a great Euros. To be pursued by Bayern, it is good.
Giroud though insists he is happy to stay at Arsenal after a mixed debut season in the Premier League: “PSG? They are clearly very attractive but I am happy where I am.”
The former Montpellier striker has scored 17 goals so far in his first season since his tranfer but has been criticised by some fans and pundits. Giroud believes he has had a better debut season than Didier Drogba who also moved to England after impressing in Ligue 1. The former Chelsea striker notched 16 in 40 games after his move from Marseille in 2004 for £24 million.
Arsenal legend Thierry Henry hit an impressive 26 goals in his first season in 1999-2000 but Giroud claimed: “I replaced Van Persie and when you arrive at a big club like that, they are very demanding towards you. The criticism has not always been deserved, but they push you on. Seventeen goals and 11 assists - that is better than Henry and Drogba in their first seasons. This is the quality I have. I have got better with this team and this staff - it is another level. And I want to continue to improve.”
Meanwhile Giroud is confident Arsenal manger Arsène Wenger will not join Paris Saint-Germain at the end of the season.
“We are going to finish the season and then take stock,” said Giroud. “If we qualify for the Champions League, I don't see why he should leave. He built the club and made it grow. Arsenal is where it is because of him.
“He still has a year left and he wants to finish things. He will make his decision in good time. This is not the time to talk about him leaving.”
Wenger says he plans to remain in charge of the north London side: “I want to stay if I do well and if I consider or the club considers that I do well, that is all.”