Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud has opened up on his aborted move to Everton this summer, revealing that he was close to leaving the Emirates.
The Blues were understood to have made the France international their number one target to replace Romelu Lukaku and manager Ronald Koeman admitted last week that he believed the club had landed his first choice, declaring: “I thought we had our option one in, and I was really disappointed by that.”
However, despite a reputed £25million deal having been agreed, Giroud, who was also wanted by West Ham United and Olympique Marseille, stalled over his proposed switch and ultimately decided to stay put.
He said: “It was a private decision. It’s true I was close to leaving because I wanted to play.
“But after a big reflection with everyone around me like my family and close friends, I wanted to stay at Arsenal.
“I thought the story was not over at Arsenal. The club has given me a lot, I want to win some more trophies.
“As I said to the boss, our story is not finished, and everyone was pleased with that.”
Giroud, 30, joined Arsenal from Montpellier in 2012 and having played 230 games for the Gunners he needs just one more goal to reach the century mark for the north London club.
His manager Arsene Wenger added: "I have said many times that his contribution has been huge.
"He has had a great evolution here and overall his contribution has been tremendous, and I think he has shown a very loyal spirit and has a high respect from everybody inside the club, as well as from our fans."
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