By Aramide Oladipo
Everton have decided to end their pursuit of Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud this summer, according to a report.
The Liverpool Echo claims that Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger was willing to let the 30-year-old leave the club but the striker is determined to remain and fight for a regular place in the starting line up.
The Mirror had recently reported that Everton boss Ronald Koeman had made the France international his number one target during the transfer window.
The report claims that Giroud’s decision has made the Dutchman turn his attention to Crystal Palace striker Christian Benteke and Fiorentina frontman Nikola Kalinic as potential alternatives.
It is said that Koeman and the club’s director of football Steve Walsh have already held discussions about making moves for the two forwards this summer.
This comes after Sky journalist Gianluca Di Marzio claimed on his personal website that the Toffees were plotting a £22.6million offer to land Kalinic.
Securing the signature of Benteke is likely to be extremely difficult for the Toffees as new Palace boss Frank de Boer was quoted in the Echo as saying that the Belgian was not up for sale this summer.
Benteke currently has three years remaining on his contract with Palace and Kalinic’s deal runs out in 2019.
Football Insider verdict
After he produced an impressive cameo to rescue his side in their opening fixture of the Premier League campaign, it is highly unlikely that Arsenal will be willing to offload Giroud this summer. It is a smart move from Everton to cool their interest in the Frenchman and they should seriously set up their pursuit in Palace talisman Benteke. The South London club got off to the worst possible start with a loss to newly-promoted Huddersfield and the striker will surely be tempted should the Toffees decide to sign him this summer. He is a very similar player to Romelu Lukaku who enjoyed a great goalscoring record at Goodison Park and he won’t need much time to adapt as he has already five years plying his trade in the Premier League.
In other Everton transfer news, a European giant is leading the Toffees and Liverpool in the race for this Bundesliga attacker.