EXCLUSIVE | By Arsenal correspondent Tony Hughes
Olivier Giroud has become the latest Arsenal star to sign a new contract, Football Insider sources understand.
Giroud has followed in the steps of the likes of Theo Walcott, Carl Jenkinson and Mikel Arteta by putting pen to paper on an extended deal.
Manager Arsene Wenger revealed last September that the France international had agreed the terms of a new contract.
But, like his team-mate Arteta, who agreed fresh terms at the start of the year but did not sign the papers until this summer, Giroud stopped short of formally committing to Arsenal and there was no actual official confirmation from the club.
Football Insider has learned that the 28-year-old has signed a deal tying him to the Gunners until 2018. He has also been rewarded with a pay rise lifting his salary to £90,000-a-week.
Giroud faces growing competition for his place as the spearhead of Arsenal’s attack in Wenger’s favoured 4-2-3-1 formation next season.
He was overlooked in favour of Theo Walcott for the FA Cup final in May and, as revealed by Football Insider, the Englishman has ended speculation about his future by signing a new four-year contract with the Gunners.
Wenger has made it clear publicly and privately that Walcott will be handed more opportunities in future to lead the attack and, with Danny Welbeck a more orthodox centre-forward rival, Giroud faces a battle to be a regular starter at Emirates Stadium.