Gunners scuppered in French striker deal

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Arsenal will miss out on signing Montpellier striker Oliver Giroud, with the player reportedly ready to stay in France next season.

Montpellier's success at the top of Ligue 1 means Giroud, who wants to play Champions League football next season, will stay in France for the new campaign.

Giroud has scored 19 goals in Ligue 1 this season, a major reason behind the interest in the striker.

"This is a player who wants to play in the Champions League next season and it seems we are not going to get there," Marseille's sporting director Jose Anigo said of Giroud.

"That is why I do not believe we have any chance to sign him. I don't believe he will leave France this summer because he will want to play with Montpellier in the Champions League."

The news comes as a blow to Arsenal's hopes of landing the player, one of the most potent strikers in French football.

Arsenal are now likely to turn their full attention towards completing a deal for German forward Lukas Podolski, who is a much touted target.

Given Arsene Wenger's reputation of nurturing players from France, Giroud at 25 has perhaps missed the opportunity to work under the guidance of the pupil of the game.

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