Agent: Senior attacker open to leaving Arsenal in part-exchange deal
By Amir Mir
Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud is open to leaving the club in a swap deal involving Napoli forward Gonzalo Higuaín, according his agent.
Reports in Italy cited by Goal claimed that Arsene Wenger hopes to agree a deal of £41million plus Giroud for the services of the prolific Argentinean striker.
Michael Manuello, Giroud’s agent has confirmed he will not stand in his clients way if he chooses to depart England for Italy.
“If he was asked to leave, then we would evaluate his options,” said Manuello as quoted by Goal. “There is no fear from Olivier about possibly going to Napoli: it is a magnificent city and in Campania, my client could lead a wonderful life.
“Olivier is an Arsenal player. So far there has not been any communication [with Arsenal] or contact with Napoli. If Arsenal tell us to leave, then things change.”
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As reported by Football Insider, Wenger has already missed out on signing Leicester striker Jamie Vardy, who rejected a deal from Arsenal and penned a new four-year contract with the Premier League champions.
It is said that Wenger had now turned his attention to Higuain, who scored 36 goals in 35 appearances for the club last term.
The Serie A striker has been linked with a move to the Premier League since his spell at Real Madrid which saw him find the net on 107 occasions over a seven year period.
Giroud, who scored three goals at the recently concluded European Championships, has received criticism throughout his career in regard to his style of play.
But Manuello believes his client would be an ideal spearhead for Napoli.
“Not to mention that the type of game played by [coach Maurizio] Sarri could enhance the quality of a centre forward like him,” he said.
France international Giroud found the net on 16 occasions in the Premier League last season, but went on a 15-game goal drought which saw him being heavily criticised by the Arsenal supporters.