The Telegraph are reporting that West Ham United are prepared to make Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud the most expensive player in the club’s history in order to tempt the Frenchman to the Olympic Stadium.
Slaven Bilic experienced a difficult second year in charge of The Hammers with a disappointing campaign characterised by poor investment in the transfer market, star man Dimitri Payet forcing through a move to Marseille, and a bottom half finish in the Premier League. The Croatian will be fully aware that a similar performance next season will likely result in him being replaced by a West Ham hierarchy that are impatient for success.
With that in mind Bilic is looking to significantly strengthen his playing squad and is keen to bring in a proven goal scorer to provide a more prominent attacking threat. The Telegraph suggest that West Ham have set their sights on Arsenal striker Giroud and are willing to match the Frenchman’s current £120,000-a-week contract, making him the highest paid player in the club’s history, whilst also paying a £20 million transfer fee.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is an admirer of Olivier Giroud and values the striker’s aerial prowess – a distinctive attacking threat that is not replicated by any of the club’s other forwards. However, the 30-year-old struggled to force his way into the starting eleven last season and was never able to cement a regular place in the first team despite scoring sixteen goals across all competitions.
Giroud still has three years remaining on his current contract but is keen to secure more game time ahead of next summer’s World Cup. With Arsenal reported to be negotiating with Lyon for Alexandre Lacazette and also interested in Monaco starlet Kylian Mbappe, it looks unlikely that the Frenchman’s prospects will improve at The Emirates over the upcoming twelve months with the option of a move becoming an increasingly tempting prospect. This has attracted the interest of a number of club’s across Europe with West Ham United and Lyon rumoured to be leading the race to secure the player’s signature.
Slaven Bilic wants to make Giroud the centre-piece of The Hammers new-look attack and believes that the striker can provide the goals to fire the club into contention for European football next season. West Ham already have Andy Carroll on their books but the former England international has been plagued by injury issues during his time with the club and patience is beginning to run short. Bilic believes that Giroud, with his strength, power and an aerial threat that makes him prolific inside the eighteen yard box, would be an upgrade on his current attacking options.
It is unclear as to where Olivier Giroud’s future will lie, but West Ham United are increasingly looking like the most promising option for the Frenchman. The Hammers will be able to provide the 30-year-old with regular game time ahead of the World Cup, are based in London so there would be no reason for the player to move out of his current residence, and will match the striker’s current Arsenal salary. Whilst there would be no European football on offer next season, the player would not lose out financially or logistically should he move to the Olympic Stadium.
West Ham will also be boosted by the new that Lyon have signed Chelsea forward Bertrand Traore for a fee believed to be in the region of £8.8 million. The French club have resigned themselves to losing their star striker Alexandre Lacazette, with Arsenal reportedly close to agreeing a £49 million (plus add-ons) deal, and had earmarked Giroud as a possible replacement. However, their move for Traore now reduces Lyon’s interest and need to secure another forward – leaving The Hammers in prime position to sign Giroud.
Featured image all rights reserved Jack Jeff.