Arsene Wenger says that Arsenal want to keep Olivier Giroud at the club next season, adding that Marseille have not made an approach for the striker.
Marseille have been linked with a move for Giroud, 30, this summer, with France Football reporting that the French club are hoping to tempt him back to his native country.
However, Wenger dismissed the speculation at his news conference on Tuesday.
“I have had no approach from Marseille and we want to keep Olivier Giroud at the club,” Wenger said.
Giroud signed a long-term contract extension with Arsenal this season, but has only played sparingly as Alexis Sanchez and Danny Welbeck have often been preferred up front by Wenger.
The France international started the team’s last two games, including the 2-1 win against Manchester City in the FA Cup semifinals on Sunday, although Welbeck is now back to full fitness and could return to the XI for Wednesday’s Premier League game against Leicester.
Wenger, meanwhile, once again shrugged off questions about his own future at Arsenal, with his contract due to expire at the end of the season.
Asked if there was any news, he simply replied “No, no,” and repeated the response when pressed on whether he had any idea when an announcement will be made.
And as for whether any decision would be based around how Arsenal perform over the final few weeks of the season, the answer once again was “no.”
Nevertheless, Wenger did reveal he is already working on the club’s transfer targets for next season — although he insisted there was no clue to be had from that.
“I work until the last day of the season for the future,” he said. “Transfer targets are important for the future of the club. That [my future] is secondary, the future of the club is important.”
Wenger is hoping Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will be available for the game against Leicester despite picking up a minor knock against City at Wembley.
Oxlade-Chamberlain left the stadium on crutches but Wenger said that was “more precautionary” and “it was not for a bad injury.”
“We will test him today,” Wenger added.
Wenger hinted he will stick to his new back-three formation against Leicester, even though Arsenal are expected to have more possession at the Emirates Stadium than against City.
“We are in a formation that is really adaptable because Gabi [Gabriel Paulista] can play right-back and so overall I think we play a system that is not a strict three at the back because when we have the ball Chamberlain plays [as a] midfielder basically,” he said.
The Leicester game marks the start of a tough run-in for Arsenal, with Tottenham up next at White Hart Lane on Sunday.
Arsenal trail in seventh place in the Premier League with seven games to go — but with matches in hand on their rivals — and Wenger said his team may have to win all seven to get into the top four.
“It looks like that. That has to be the target,” he said. “To achieve that, we have to win the next one. I think the next thing we have to achieve is to transfer the energy level we showed on Sunday to the Premier League. We started well at Middlesbrough, so let’s continue that against Leicester. It’s still possible, but that means we’ll maybe have to have a perfect run-in.”
After the win against City, though, Arsenal now have a new-found belief that they can finish the season on a high, according to Wenger.
“It will give us a bit more confidence. I think it will convince everybody that with the right energy levels and the right fighting spirit, the right togetherness, we can beat everybody,” Wenger said. “But then we have to show we can keep that level of energy and that level of desire, of hunger in every single game until the end of the season.”