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Giroud close to extending stay at Arsenal

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Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud celebrates after scoring the opening goal of the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and West Bromwich Albion at the Emirates Stadium in London on December 26, 2016

LONDON, United Kingdom, Dec 28- Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud is on track to sign a contract extension that will keep him at the Emirates Stadium for the foreseeable future.

Giroud has struggled to break into the starting line-up this season, but upon being handed his first start of the Gunners’ campaign, he had the perfect response as he scored the winner in their 1-0 victory over West Bromwich Albion on Boxing Day.

The Frenchman started his season a bit late after representing his country at Euro 2016, but upon returning to the Arsenal squad, he found his route to the starting XI blocked by Alexis Sanchez.

Despite only having made 16 appearances in all competitions this season, the 30-year-old is determined to continue playing for Arsenal.

“I came back a bit late from the Euros and it was nice for my body because I could rest but not good for me because the team was doing well and another striker was doing well up front,” he said.

“This season has been difficult because also I was injured for a month and a half so it hasn’t been easy.

“I don’t want to talk too much about me but it was a big day for me, but a turning point for the team because if we didn’t win we would have been in trouble.”

Giroud denied reports that he has already inked a new deal with the Gunners, but admitted that it could happen very soon. In the meantime though, the striker will be looking to build on his promising performance against West Brom.

“It is all about keeping the focus high,” he said. “Always keep working hard at training. I was speaking with the boss, we had a couple of discussions together and he explained to me why I hadn’t played too much until here.

“But football is an everlasting new beginning, as I used to say, and you always have to keep focused and wait for your time.

“People have been saying I have signed a new contract. It is not true but maybe soon.”

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