The Gunners signed Giroud from French champions Montpellier last month amid rumours that captain Van Persie is set to leave the club.
Van Persie made his intention not to sign a new contract at the Emirates public last week, and with just 12 months to run on his current deal, the signs are that the Dutchman will end his 8-year stay in north London this summer.
Former Gunners midfielder Grimandi, who now works as a scout with the club, has admitted that the club bought the 25-year-old with RVP’s future in mind.
Grimandi also confirmed Arsenal are doing all they can to keep the 30-goal striker but admitted that every player has his price:
“Was the recruitment of Giroud made to compensate for his [Van Persie’s] departure? Yes, we worked to avoid being cornered.
“We want him to stay home but he is left with one year on his contract so it is complicated.
“At Arsenal, there is a healthy atmosphere, he’s been here for eight years and he has a real commitment to the club.”
“If there is a great offer and if he wants to leave, it will be difficult to keep him,”
“I would never have thought that players such as Thiago Silva [the AC Milan defender] could be transferable and that was the case at a time. There are parameters you cannot handle.”
Grimandi is quoted as saying by Goal.com
Does this tell us any more about whether RVP will still be at Arsenal next season? I’m not sure. All it shows us is that Arsenal were concerned enough about the future of their captain to buy a potential replacement in case he does leave this summer. It’s just good planning.
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Clearly the Arsenal chiefs knew that RVP was leaning towards not signing a new deal following their meeting at the end of last season, so had to find a long-term replacement. If Van P is held to his final year of his contract, great, we’ll have depth up front. If he goes, we’ll either buy another striker or make do with what we’ve got.
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