Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud has been included in a 25-man squad for the club’s two-week tour of Australia and China that will see the 2017 FA Cup holders play four matches.
Speculation had been rising Everton were interested in signing the forward – who has hit 98 league and cup goals for the Gunners – as a direct replacement for Romelu Lukaku who signed for Manchester United in a fee worth £75 million.
However, the trip to the southern hemisphere puts on hold any talks with Giroud from possible suitors – at least until he returns.
New record signing Alexandre Lacazette is also included on the trip and could feature in Thursday’s game against Sydney FC.
Lacazette says that midfielder Francis Coquelin helped convince him to move to the North London club.
“We’ve had a lot of contact over the last few years and even more over the last few weeks, of course, since it became increasingly likely that I would come to Arsenal,” Lacazette told Arsenal’s official website.
“He has said only good things about Arsenal, which is not surprising because he wanted me to join the club. Even without that I still really wanted to come here.
“He stressed that it was a great club located in a fantastic city. He said I would not regret my decision to move here because of the people I’d be working with and, of course, the fans.”
After two games in Australia, Arsene Wenger’s men will then jet to China where they will play Bayern Munich in Shanghai on Wednesday, July 19, before flying to Beijing where they face Chelsea in the Bird’s Nest Stadium on Saturday, July 22.
Arsenal Touring Squad:
Petr Cech, Emi Martinez, David Ospina, Krystian Bielik, Cohen Bramall, Francis Coquelin, Mohamed Elneny, Olivier Giroud, Alex Iwobi, Sead Kolasinac, Laurent Koscielny, Alexandre Lacazette, Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Donyell Malen, Per Mertesacker, Nacho Monreal, Reiss Nelson, Eddie Nketiah, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Mesut Ozil, Aaron Ramsey, Theo Walcott, Danny Welbeck, Joe Willock, Granit Xhaka.