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27th Dec 2017

Arsene Wenger rejects claim about Olivier Giroud and his wife

Not having it

Darragh Murphy

Despite the rumours, Olivier Giroud’s wife did not stand in the way of the forward’s move to Everton in the summer, according to the player’s manager.

Giroud had been linked with a switch to the Toffees, under Ronald Koeman at the time, after Alexandre Lacazette arrived at the Emirates and claimed the starting spot as Arsenal’s centre-forward.

Giroud was expected to be a part of Everton’s massive summer spending spree but the deal never materialised, with reports that the Frenchman’s wife, Jennifer, did not want to leave London so rejected the opportunity to move the family to Merseyside.

New Everton boss Sam Allardyce added credence to that suggestion this week, when asked if he’d be interested in bringing the 31-year-old on board when the January transfer window opens

“I wouldn’t have thought so because he refused to come last time,” Allardyce said when asked if he would pursue Giroud next month.

“He doesn’t want to move north of London, I don’t think.

“Or his wife doesn’t. It is very important to the wives you know.

“Normally they are the bosses, I say that with experience.”

Giroud has been forced to settle for a bit-part role this season and recently equalled a rather unusual record as the Premier League’s most prolific substitute for a single club, drawing level with Manchester United’s famous super-sub Ole Gunnar Solskjaer earlier this month.

Having picked up a hamstring injury over Christmas, Giroud will be out of action for three weeks but he continues to be linked with a move away from the Gunners.

But manager Arsene Wenger has rubbished Allardyce’s claim that Giroud’s wife prevented his striker from moving to Goodison Park at the start of this season.

“No, I don’t think so,” Wenger responded when asked if Mrs. Giroud got in the way of the move in the summer.

“He could have joined Everton and stayed basically in London.

“I don’t think that was the problem.”