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Sanchez deal 'so close'; Wenger waits

 By Ian Holyman

Arsenal's Olivier Giroud not ruling out January move to boost France hopes

Olivier Giroud's 88th-minute equalizer canceled out Charlie Austin's opener to earn Arsenal a 1-1 draw at Southampton.
After Arsenal's slow start against Southampton, Janusz Michallik re-opens the discussion regarding their poor concentration levels.
Following Arsenal's 1-1 draw at Southampton, the ESPN FC guys question how much the squad trust in Arsene Wenger.

Olivier Giroud has told L'Equipe he may have to consider leaving Arsenal in January to keep his World Cup ambitions intact.

France international Giroud, 31, has yet to start a Premier League game this season having fallen behind summer signing Alexandre Lacazette in the pecking order.

"I have the World Cup at the back of my mind weekly, almost daily," Giroud, whose Arsenal contract runs to 2019, said in an interview set to be aired on Monday.

"Each time I go onto the pitch, it's to be more clinical and keep on track for the World Cup."

The former Montpellier striker said he may have to consider leaving Arsenal despite national team boss Didier Deschamps advising him otherwise.

"During international get-togethers, the coach usually warns me against that," Giroud, who has scored 29 goals in 69 appearances for his country, said.

"He has told me the things he wanted to tell me, which is totally logical and I understand. He wants me to play more. If I wasn't able to leave this summer, it was because of the opportunities I had.

"It wouldn't have been good to leave for leaving's sake, but it's certain that eventually, even in January, I'm going to have to ask myself the question again. It won't be easy to find the right solution and take the right decision, but we'll look at the opportunities."

Olivier Giroud scored Arsenal's equaliser in the 1-1 draw with Southampton.

Giroud has proven his worth coming off the bench this season, scoring vital goals including an 88th-minute equaliser in Sunday's 1-1 draw with Southampton.

It was Giroud's fourth league goal of the season, which -- when added to his three strikes in six Europa League games -- gives him a healthy goals-to-minutes ratio.

Arsene Wenger, meanwhile, said Giroud will not be sold and promised he will be given more game time over the festive period.

"He will start more games," Wenger said. "I believe as well it's always the same when you have many good players -- some of them cannot play. The question you get is always 'why does the guy who is good not play?'

"[The answer is] because if you take him on you have another guy who is good who will not play, it is as simple as that."

Pushed on whether an important player like Giroud could be sold in the transfer window, Wenger replied: "In your question is the answer, because you say he is important. Why should we lose an important player?"

Asked if it would be up to the club or player as to whether a January move could happen, he said: "It is up to us."

Information from the Press Association was used in this report.

Ian is ESPN's French football correspondent. Twitter: @ian_holyman


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