Arsenal are close to completing a move for the France forward Olivier Giroud, Montpellier's deputy president said yesterday. Giroud, who is part of Laurent Blanc's Euro 2012 squad, is thought to command a transfer fee in the region of £13m.
The 25-year-old scored 25 goals last season as Montpellier took the Ligue 1 title, igniting the interest of several top clubs. However, it appears Arsenal are set to add the promising Frenchman to their squad, which has already been bolstered by the arrival of the Germany marksman Lukas Podolski.
"Discussions are happening and going well, as part of the [release] clause set. Things are moving serenely," said Montpellier's deputy president, Laurent Nicollin, in the French newspaper Midi Libre.
Once the deal for Giroud is complete, Arsenal could then look to offload some of their fringe players, including the Denmark striker Nicklas Bendtner and the Morocco forward Marouane Chamakh.
Chelsea, meanwhile, were rebuffed yesterday when the Wigan Athletic chairman, Dave Whelan, said he would consider selling winger Victor Moses if the London club made an appropriate offer, but described the European champions' opening bid of less than £4m as "absolutely stupid".
The Latics signed the Nigeria international from Crystal Palace for £2.5m in January 2010. He has 12 months left on his current contract and talks over a new deal have stalled but Whelan, in confirming Chelsea's interest, insisted he would not sell cheaply.
"The offer that Chelsea have made is no good. It is way too low. It is rubbish," Whelan said. "If the price is right we would actually consider letting him go, yes, we have to do that. I have said to Chelsea, 'Thank you for your offer but no'. What they are offering is not enough. I have not put a price-tag on Victor but let's say that what Chelsea have offered is a lot less than £4m – that is absolutely stupid."
Whelan added: "Chelsea would need to get realistic before we would even listen to them. At the moment, they are taking the mickey with the bid they've made."
Whelan does not want to sell the 21-year-old and believes he would benefit from further developing under the Wigan manager, Roberto Martinez, which is why an extension to his existing deal was offered some time ago.
"Roberto Martinez has brought this player on and he needs at least another year with Roberto to become a top player," Whelan said. "We have offered him a new contract but it seems the agent, more than the player, wants to move him on – at least that is the impression we are getting.
"It cannot be for the player's good. Victor Moses needs another year or two before moving to a club like Chelsea. He needs games and he won't be first-choice at Chelsea, I wouldn't have thought
"We don't need to sell him with 12 months to go on his contract because he is under 24 so wouldn't be going on a free transfer. Ideally we would like him to sign a new contract, or a club like Chelsea would have to be realistic."
The Everton captain, Phil Neville, said yesterday that his brother Gary will become a "fantastic" manager in time and is determined to follow him into coaching. Gary, the former Manchester United defender and elder brother at 37, is in Ukraine with England, having joined Roy Hodgson last month. The former England international, who has Uefa A and B coaching licences, signed a four-year contract with the Football Association.
"Gary will be a fantastic coach and I'm sure one day he will be a fantastic manager," said Phil, who has completed the first part of his A licence course. "He's got that aura about him and the knowledge, and I think he'll have the respect of the players."
Phil Neville, who has had some international coaching experience with England's Under-21 squad for February's Euro 2013 qualifier against Belgium, has been planning for the end of his playing days for a while.
"When you get to the age of 30 you think to yourself: 'What am I going to do when I finish?'," the 35-year-old said. "Coaching is something I've always enjoyed. I did my Uefa B licence and loved it, I got the bug. I set my stall out that over the next five years I would plan and prepare to become a coach. I started making notes for different scenarios, and not just for coaching but for travel, discipline and other things."
Neville attended Wokefield Park in Berkshire this month along with 32 current and former professionals, including his former England team-mate David James, to begin work on his A licence.
"The biggest thing I've learned is that this [coaching] is something I want to do when I've finished my career," added Neville, who is contracted to Everton until 2013. "I'm fascinated by all aspects of it. I've always been the type, throughout my career, to ask a lot of questions and be interested in the finer details.
"I think that's what coaching is all about: the detail when getting your point across to the players."
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