Arsenal close to £12-million signing of French player

Updated: June 13, 2012

Arsenal are on the brink of sealing a £12-million deal for Montpellier striker Olivier Giroud, with formal confirmation possible within the next 48 hours.

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Giroud, who was the top scorer last year in France’s La Ligue with 21 goals, is currently in Ukraine with Laurent Blanc’s France squad but the official completion of a deal is now extremely close both with Montpellier and the player.

The Daily Telegraph revealed in April that Arsene Wenger had asked for regular scouting reports on Giroud and, having followed that interest up with a formal bid, it is understood that the two clubs are now completing the paperwork on the deal. Barring any unexpected late hitches, Giroud will become an Arsenal player.

Earlier this week, Montpellier manager Rene Girard told French radio station RMC that Wenger was leading a chase of top clubs for the striker.

“Arsenal are very interested and Giroud wants to play in England, if Arsene agrees with the president, he will sign for them,” he said.

Despite speculation about the future of Van Persie, who is out of contract next summer, it is understood Arsenal want to sign Giroud to play alongside him, rather than as a replacement.

Arsenal have already signed Germany striker Lukas Podolski for £11.9 million this summer from Bundesliga side FC Köln.

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