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 By Ian Holyman
May 28, 2014

Giroud in talks over Arsenal extension

Olivier Giroud has told Midi Libre he is already in talks with Arsenal about a contract extension.

- Mangan: Arsenal's cup of liberation and release

Giroud, 27, featured in France's first World Cup warm-up friendly against Norway on Tuesday, scoring twice in a 4-0 win in Paris as he carried his fine club form from last season onto the international stage.

The former Montpellier forward, who struck 16 Premier League goals and laid on a further eight in 36 matches in the English top flight last season, still has half of the four-year contract he signed following his summer 2012 move remaining.

However, he revealed both parties are already keen to add to that deal.

"I have two years left on my contract, but we're in talks to extend it. For the moment, I'm good here. There are some good things to be done," said Giroud, who after being criticised in the immediate aftermath of his arrival from Ligue 1 has proven his worth.

"I feel at ease in this league. My first season wasn't too bad, the second was rather good. I hope to do better still. I progress year-on-year, just like the team, which produces great play."

Though he will likely have to play a back-up role to Karim Benzema for the national side in Brazil, Giroud remains the focal point of the Gunners' attack.

He will again be expected to provide the lion's share of his side's goals if Arsene Wenger are to sustain a title challenge next season.

Giroud acknowledged his club's 2013-14 Premier League tilt had petered out, and admitted Arsene Wenger's squad must toughen up when faced with their biggest rivals if they are to remain contenders throughout the coming campaign.

"We were ahead for a good half of the season, and then we cracked. I think we lacked maturity, that we had a lot of injuries at a tricky time. Above all, we weren't able to adapt to the big teams, and we often went off the rails in big games. We have to improve in those matches, perhaps we have to try to play less. But it's hard with the playing philosophy we have," the 2011-12 Ligue 1 winner explained, adding the FA Cup final triumph over Hull City had helped assuage the disappointment.

"The cup, it's not nothing in England. Especially given the scenario of the final. There was a lot of expectation, great fervour among the supporters. It reminded me of what I had when Montpellier won the title."

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