Giroud injury puts Arsenal in market for striker
Loic Remy may join before transfer deadline on Monday
Olivier Giroud (centre) injured his tibia soon after scoring Arsenal’s late equaliser in the Premier League game against Everton at Goodison Park on Saturday. Photograph: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
Arsene Wenger is considering a late move into the transfer market to secure a striker before Monday’s deadline, with the Arsenal manager resigned to being without his principal centre forward, Olivier Giroud, until the new year.
The France international has broken a bone in an ankle and his absence, which is set to be confirmed by a specialist, leaves the London club shorn of options, not least for tonight’s Champions League qualifier against Besiktas.
There is interest in QPR forward Loic Remy, who is available to a top-four club for €10.5 million, while deals for Manchester United’s Danny Welbeck and Radamel Falcao of Monaco may now be explored.
Though Welbeck has effectively been made available, it remains to be seen whether United would be willing to sell him to a perceived direct rival.
Falcao’s sights are ultimately set on a return to Madrid, with Real, but he would be open to a loan move to the Emirates for a season even though a temporary switch would still cost Arsenal up to €25 million in fees and wages for the Colombia forward.
Remy, in comparison, represents a relatively easy deal to conclude given the existence of the release clause in his contract at Loftus Road, though Wenger has previously been resistant to meeting the Frenchman’s wage demands.
The striker, who excelled on loan at Newcastle last season and came close to joining Liverpool this summer, would seek up to €115,000 a week.
Regardless of the club’s pursuit of a signing, it seems unlikely Lukas Podolski will be permitted to leave.
Giroud will consult a specialist today, while the rest of Arsenal’s first-team squad prepare for their second leg against Besiktas with the tie goalless, with the two scans overseen by the club’s medical staff having initially prompted a grim prognosis of his prospects.
The 27-year-old is understood to have fractured the base of his tibia after slipping on the ball in the final minute having just equalised at Everton last Saturday evening.
“We came back on Saturday night and he was at home on Sunday,” said Wenger. “He had a medical check and we needed to have further investigation. The first news is not fantastic, but I am not a doctor. So I wait for tomorrow’s complete examination and decision.
Overstretched“I still don’t understand how he did it. He overstretched his ankle, and it was on the ball, not a contact. The problem is, I think, his tibia.”
While Wenger has Yaya Sanogo back after hamstring trouble and Costa Rica forward Joel Campbell also in the squad, he is expected to retain Alexis Sanchez in a central role against the Turkish side.
The Chilean started in the position at Goodison Park but was replaced at the interval by Giroud having struggled to make an impact.
“You do not convict a player on one half of football,” said the manager. “It was not all bad what he did. There was some quality. I just felt that, on the day, we needed some more physical presence because I knew we would need more presence in the second half.”
Arsenal’s qualification for the Champions League for a 17th season in succession will not affect the funds available to Wenger to add to his squad before Monday’s cut-off. Participation in the group stage generates on average around €25 million in revenue.
“We would have less income, but it would not affect our balance sheet in a dramatic way,” added Wenger, who is also without the suspended Aaron Ramsey. “But we want to be in the Champions League because we need to play top-level football.” – Guardian Service