Arsene Wenger insists he will try to persuade Olivier Giroud to stay after the Arsenal striker proved his point on the club’s pre-season tour.
Giroud scored, outshone record £52m signing Alexandre Lacazette and Wenger insisted afterwards that he does not want to sell him this summer.
Borussia Dortmund are leading the chase for Giroud while Everton, West Ham and Marseille are also keen as it appears he could go after Lacazette’s arrival.
Gunners boss Wenger said: “There’s a lot of speculation but no matter how many times I say it, I have a huge respect for him, for the man he is and the way he loves our club.
“Even with the speculation he is focused and he does his job. I always said I want him to stay. I was always consistent in that and that’s where we are at the moment.”
Giroud admitted earlier in the week that it could be an “option” to leave and looked annoyed afterwards when an Australian TV reporter asked if he was moving to Everton.
Gunners striker Giroud refused to discuss his future further but did say that he could imagine partnering France team mate Lacazette in attack for Arsenal after they both started against Western Sydney Wanderers.
Giroud said: “I’m still an Arsenal player for the moment and want to play well for the season. It’s always nice, as a striker, to score.
“Alexandre is a good player and it is easy to play with this type of player on the pitch. We had the opportunity to play together a little bit for the national team and hopefully he will settle in the English Premier League.”
Giroud looked downbeat after the game but on the pitch – in front of 83,221 fans – he was anything but as he was sharp, lively and opened the scoring after 33 minutes with a smart finish at the near post.
Wenger played Giroud through the middle and Lacazette was just behind but the Arsenal manager also made it clear afterwards that the new boy will be his main centre forward.
Aaron Ramsey and Mohamed Elneny were also on target. Steven Lustica pulled one back following a defensive mix-up after sub keeper Emiliano Martinez picked up Ramsey’s back pass.
Arsenal made ten changes just after 66 minutes and lost their momentum despite substitute Mesut Ozil hitting the post with a late free kick.
It made it two wins out of two games in three days in Sydney before Arsenal fly off to China to face Bayern Munich and then Chelsea.
But Wenger also sent a clear warning to Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and, despite the England midfielder having just a year left on his contract and being linked with Liverpool, will definitely stay.
Wenger has also given up his pursuit of Monaco wonderkid Kylian Mbappe and Arsenal’s information is that the 18-year-old will stay at the French club for one more season as he denied reports in Spain that they have made a £120m bid.
Wenger added: “That’s not true either. People have a big imagination. What we know now is that Mbappe is over £100m and after that it’s free to imagine what you want.
“But we have not made any offer. I think he will stay, it looks like that. One more season. Maybe he has too much choice. In the end, people don’t move.
“Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will stay. 100 per cent I expect him to stay. There is no speculation. No matter what happens he will stay.
“There has been over 160,000 people in two games. Will we get that in China? I’m not sure. But it shows us how much people love sport here.”