Arsene Wenger says Olivier Giroud will not leave Arsenal this January unless the club signs a replacement up front.
While the boss refused to rule out his compatriot’s departure and stayed coy on potential interest from Chelsea, he did make clear that the 31-year-old had not been offered to Borussia Dortmund as a makeweight in a deal to sign Pierre Emerick Aubameyang.
Giroud turned down the chance to leave the Emirates in the summer – Everton made a bid in excess of £30 million – but has since been left frustrated by his lack of game time in the Premier League. The striker, who is set to return from a hamstring injury this week, is understood to be concerned about his chances of making the France squad for next summer’s World Cup.
“No [he was not offered as part of the deal],” Wenger said on Friday.
“I want Olivier to stay, I just told you that if nobody comes in, nobody goes out at the moment. Maybe one or two young players out on loan somewhere. The experienced side of the squad will stay the same unless somebody comes in.
“I have a consistent exchange with Olivier Giroud and we talk about the situation a lot. He played many games, he played all the games in the Europa League, came on a lot in the Premier League and scored important goals for us.
“He’s an important player here that everybody wants to stay. There’s a high respect for Olivier Giroud in this club. He will certainly get more games. He’ll only leave if somebody else comes in.
“We lost Theo [Walcott]. To lose Theo and Olivier, without getting anybody, for us would be too many players, too many top class players to leave the club.”