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Jul, 12, 2012

Grimandi: Giroud signed as insurance

Arsenal scout Gilles Grimandi has said that new £13 million striker Olivier Giroud was signed, in part, to limit the damage of a potential Robin van Persie departure.

• Giroud: I'm not Van Persie replacement

Giroud, 25, joined Arsenal after Euro 2012 in June, having finished the past season as top scorer in Ligue 1 with 21 goals, as Montpellier swept to an unlikely title success.

With Van Persie heading into the final year of his contract, Grimandi believes that the club have insured themselves well should he choose to depart, having also brought in Germany striker Lukas Podolski for £12 million.

Grimandi told le10sport.com: "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 could be transferable and that was the case at a time. There are parameters you cannot handle."

Van Persie enjoyed the best season of his Arsenal career in 2011-12, scoring over 20 Premier League goals for the first time in his career.

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