Arsenal forward Olivier Giroud has revealed that he was close to signing for Everton in the summer – yet believes that he made the “best choice” by choosing to stay at Arsenal.
The Toffees targeted the 31-year-old French forward as their first-choice replacement for the outgoing Romelu Lukaku, who left for Manchester United in a £75m fee – only for the deal for Giroud to collapse in the final stages.
Despite only starting three games all season, in the Europa League and the Carabao Cup, the French international has ruled out further possibility of making the switch to Goodison Park in January if Everton were to register their interest in the player again.
Giroud has lost his place in Arsenal’s starting lineup due to Arsene Wenger favouring Alexis Sanchez and Alexandre Lacazette to lead the line, being a regular substitute for the Gunners, though has since stated that he is happy to stay at the Emirates and fight for his place in the starting XI.
“I was very close to signing for another English club, Everton, but I made the best choice I think,” Giroud told France’s Canal Football Club.
Theoretically, the signing of strong physical presence up front such as Giroud, who is 6ft4, would have been key to Koeman’s typical tactics in attack, the Dutchman having previously found success with Lukaku and Graziano Pelle at Feyenoord and Southampton.
Giroud, who also turned down Marseille and Lyon this summer, would not rule out a return to France: “I have a lot of respect for Marseille, I was a fan for years.
“I also have a lot of respect for Lyon, who were also interested at one time. I didn’t want to return to France. I’m happy in England, it’s nothing against those clubs. But a return to France is possible one day.”