Arsenal are awaiting the results of a scan on an ankle injury sustained by Olivier Giroud amid fears that the striker could be forced out of Wednesday’s second leg of the Champions League qualifier against Besiktas. Giroud came off the bench to equalise in the closing stages of the 2-2 draw at Everton on Saturday, only to injure his ankle in the last minute of added time. The forward told French media he envisaged being fit to face the Turkish side but there are concerns at Arsenal the injury may be more serious than initially thought. The tie is goalless after last week’s bad-tempered game at the Ataturk Stadium.
Giroud was being assessed on Monday and the medical department will continue to monitor the player as Arsène Wenger’s side step up their preparations for the European tie. Giroud had started that game in Istanbul, but had little impact, with Yaya Sanogo having remained in England nursing a slight thigh complaint. Wenger initially utilised Alexis Sánchez through the middle at Everton and may have to employ the Chilean there again against Besiktas. The seriousness of Giroud’s setback, which is not believed to be a fracture but could also rule him out of Sunday’s trip to Leicester, may yet influence Arsène Wenger’s transfer policy in what remains of the window. Arsenal are not blessed with many options at centre-forward, with Wenger have been more concerned with adding a fourth centre-half to his ranks and, potentially, a central midfielder. That emphasis may now shift in a bid to secure another forward ahead of the cut-off.
While it seems unlikely he would test Monaco’s resolve to retain Radamel Falcao, who would cost a loan fee of around £15m, Wenger could yet revive his interest in QPR’s Loïc Rémy. The striker had been on the verge of a move to Liverpool earlier in the summer only for that deal to be scuppered at the last, with the Frenchman having started the campaign in the team at Loftus Road. He has release clauses set in his contract – at £8.5m for teams competing in the Champions League, but £11m for those clubs who finished last season fifth and sixth and £15m for anyone outside that elite bracket – which would make a move attractive.
The QPR forward’s wage demands of £80,000-a-week could prompt Arsenal to sell Lukas Podolski. Retaining the World Cup-winner would have been another option for Wenger, though there seems little desire to pull the plug on the talks due to take place with Juventus, with Bayer Leverkusen and Wolfsburg also monitoring his situation. Juve are keen on taking the 29-year-old on a season-long loan, though Arsenal will seek to sell him on a permanent deal for around £10m.
The Arsenal captain, Mikel Arteta, is expected to return from an ankle injury sustained last week in Turkey for the game against Manchester City on 13 September. The midfielder was injured by a challenge from Besiktas’ Demba Ba and sprained a joint but will recuperate over the international window and should be fit to return for the match at the Emirates Stadium.