BREMEN, GERMANY - FEBRUARY 29: Olivier Giroud (R) of France celebrates with his team mate Mathieu Debuchy after scoring his team's first goal during the International friendly match between Germany and France at Weser Stadium on February 29, 2012 in Bremen, Germany. (Photo by Joern Pollex/Bongarts/Getty Images)
According to David Ornstein of the BBC and Jeremy Wilson of the Telegraph, two of the more reliable sources when it comes to Arsenal transfer stories, the deal to take Olivier Giroud to Arsenal is almost complete, with the BBC reporting that it will cost Arsenal around £12m. Giroud's release-clause from Montpellier had thought to have been €12m, but a few French journalists have been reporting recently that it became €16m when Giroud received his first cap for France. Either way, it's a fairly cheap price to pay for a player who was Ligue 1's top scorer last season.
While many will think that this deal means that Arsenal are resigned to losing Robin van Persie, that does not seem to be the case. Arsenal apparently want Giroud to be supplement to van Persie (with Lukas Podolski another option, though it does seem as he'll be the starting left-winger), and a possible replacement should van Persie not extend his contract and leave in a year's time.
Obviously, it's nice to be seeing these reports, but a degree of caution should still be exercised until the deal is confirmed on either club's official site, especially with the player at the European Championships. Both Wilson and Ornstein reported that the deal could be completed this week, but Arsenal always seem to take a long time sealing transfers. Assuming the deal does get completed, though, it's fantastic to see Arsenal taking advantage of the guaranteed Champions League money, again showing how important it was for the club to finish third.