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Striker admits he was close to Everton move - but insists he was right to turn them down

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Olivier Giroud says he is happy at Arsenal, despite his lack of starts

Arsenal v Doncaster Rovers - Carabao Cup Third Round Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud has finally broken his silence over his proposed move to Everton in the summer.

The France striker was Everton’s number one choice to replace Romelu Lukaku and the club were confident of concluding a deal.

The Toffees believed the lure of regular first-team football would convince Giroud to leave Arsenal, where he was likely to be pushed further down the pecking order following the signing of Alexandre Lacazette.

However, despite initially appearing to favour a move to Goodison Park Giroud had a change of heart and decided to stay at the Emirates Stadium.

That has proven to be a critical moment in Everton’s summer as they subsequently failed to land an alternative target, leaving themselves desperately short of firepower going into the new season.

Giroud meanwhile has made just three starts so far this season, two in the Europa League and once in the Carabao Cup.

Despite spending most of his time on the bench the 31-year-old insists he made the right decision in turning down the Toffees.

Speaking to French broadcaster Canal Plus, Giroud said:

“I had the opportunity to leave [Arsenal].

I was very close to another English club, Everton. But I think I made the best choice.”

There were reports that it was Giroud’s wife who persuaded the striker to stay at the Gunners as she didn’t want to move away from London.

It remains to be seen whether Everton will revive their interest in Giroud in January as these comments appear to end any speculation over a move away.

The Toffees are still expected to bolster their frontline during the transfer window but may have to move on to other targets.