Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud has told the Daily Mail that he was close to leaving the club this summer, amid speculation surrounding a move to Everton.
Giroud, 30, joined the Gunners from Montpellier in his native France back in the summer of 2012, and whilst he has received strong criticism over the years, he has been a fairly consistent goalscorer.
Giroud has hit double figures in goals in every season for Arsenal, but he has been having to accept more of a super-sub role over the last year.
The France international struggled to nail down a regular starting spot last season, and the big-money signing of Lyon striker Alexandre Lacazette over the summer hasn't helped him.
In fact, speculation over the summer suggested that Giroud could leave Arsenal, with Everton understood to be keen on signing him after Romelu Lukaku's exit to Manchester United.
With Ronald Koeman searching for a target man, he allegedly set his sights on Giroud – but the Liverpool Echo reported last month that Everton gave up hope of signing Giroud as he indicated he would stay at Arsenal.
Now, Giroud has discussed his future, telling the Daily Mail that he did in fact come close to leaving Arsenal over the summer, which may suggest that a move to Everton was in the pipeline.
However, Giroud decided to stay with Arsenal as his 'story was not finished' with the Gunners, despite his desire to play more first-team football.
“It's true I was close to leaving the club,' said Giroud. “I said I wanted to play but after big reflection with everybody around me like my family and close friends in a supportive way I decided I wanted to stay at the Arsenal.”
“I thought the story was not finished at Arsenal. The club has brought me a lot and I want to give it back, improve and win more trophies. I said to the boss our story is not finished,” he added.