France coach urges Olivier Giroud to quit Arsenal in January
Olivier Giroud has been urged to quit Arsenal in the January transfer window or risk missing out on a World Cup spot, report football.london.
Speaking in an interview on French TV, assistant to the national team Guy Stephan said that the forward is not playing enough this season to justify a call up in the summer.
The 31-year-old faces stiff competition leading into the tournament with Alexandre Lacazette, Anthony Martial, Kevin Gameiro and Kylian Mbappe all in contention to take the Arsenal attacker's place.
Antoine Griezmann is another option although he has often played his best football when deployed as a secondary striker just off Giroud, but despite his record at international level the centre forward will struggle to get into the squad if Stephan is to be believed.
"It's clear that he is not getting enough playing time and Didier has already spoken to him about it," the French assistant manager told Telefoot. "He has to find a solution in the coming weeks. "A departure? It is up to him. He's been very good in the past [for France] and he's played a lot of games and scored very important goals, so now he has to play."
Stephan also revealed that there will be friendly matches staged in May and June in order to experiment with the team and prepare the players.
"There will be three friendlies and preparations from May 28 to June 9 because we will start the tournament on June 16. We will play a friendly match seven days before the first match.
"We will try to find opponents similar to our group stage teams and there still need to be an economic agreement between the nations."
Giroud has played 234 minutes for Arsenal in the Premier League this season and has not been first choice for the Gunners since the 2014/15 season.
Last year Alexis Sanchez replaced him up front. He has now been made to give way to Lacazette for league games with Arsene Wenger mostly using the former Montpellier forward in the Europa League.
During the summer, the Frenchman was a major transfer target for Ronald Koeman at Everton and will not be short of suitors if he does push for a move in 2018
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