By 90Min
December 19, 2017

Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud is increasingly thought to be interested in securing a January exit from the Gunners to ensure he is playing regularly in the run up to the 2018 World Cup in June, but almost certainly won't be returning home to play in his native France.

Marseille have been heavily linked with a move for Giroud since the summer, but the 31-year-old's agent, Michael Manuello, has told FootMercato that there is no desire to go back to France.

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"Olivier will not come back to France. Unless there is a change in his state of mind, to date the intention is not to return to France," the agent said of his client's immediate future.

According to recent programme on L'Equipe 21, Giroud was never interested in joining Marseille when the club was apparently in for him ahead of this season, nor was he interested in joining Everton. It was only Borussia Dortmund that allegedly came close to striking a deal then.

"There has been no new approach to Marseille. I had no information that Marseille was trying to contact us," Manuello continued to FootMercato.

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"Our job is not to lock ourselves in something. Our job is to expand as much as possible. In France he was champion of France, he did different things, it's more complicated to come back. The return to France is always more difficult. It will be a move outside France if there is one."

'If there is one' is a key statement here. Arsene Wenger has been very determined that Giroud, who has started just one of his 15 Premier League appearances this season, will not be leaving Arsenal as he has proven to be an incredibly valuable impact substitute.

"Why should we lose an important player? Is it up to him or up to us? It's up to us," the Gunners boss stated after Giroud scored an equaliser in the 1-1 draw against Southampton this month.

"He will start games. I consider Olivier Giroud as a regular player. We have to be grateful that he is part of a great team and one who can come on and make a difference with the right attitude and ability. He is a talent," Wenger explained.

"It is normal for Arsene to state this position publicly," Manuello said in response.

"This is completely normal. Now, depending on how the offers arrive, we will sit around a table and discuss. The most important thing is to know what will be offered or not this winter to find a better game project," he added.

"We must be careful and if there is something obvious that will appear, we will try to convince Arsene to change his mind."

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