Arsene Wenger has called on Olivier Giroud to shelve any transfer plans and see out the 2017-18 campaign at Arsenal.
The France international striker equalled the Premier League record of ex-Manchester United favourite Ole Gunnar Solskjaer during a 1-1 draw with Southampton last time out, with his 17th goal as a substitute the level best for a single club.
But Giroud, who was linked to Everton before the start of the campaign, has made all 13 of his top-flight appearances this season from the bench following the big-money arrival of Alexandre Lacazette from Lyon.
As a result, and with places at the 2018 World Cup to think about, the 31-year-old has hinted that he could be tempted to leave Emirates Stadium in search of more regular game time during the January window.
Wenger, though, considers Giroud to be an important asset for Arsenal and is reluctant to sanction a move, telling reporters: “He is not a super-sub for me, he is a regular player. I have plenty of good strikers and I cannot play all of them together.
“I speak to all my players but it is very difficult to speak about what we talk about.
“He is a very important player. I have big respect for him and I am an admirer of Olivier Giroud. Look at how many French caps he has got since he joined Arsenal. I do not think he has wasted his time.
“Personally, I want him to stay at the club until the end of the season and then we’ll see.
“I can give you 10 more cases. Every player who doesn’t play wants to start in the Premier League.”
Giroud has been with Arsenal since 2012, with the current campaign seeing him pass the 100-goal mark for the club.
He has broken into double figures in terms of Premier League efforts in each of his five seasons in north London and needs just one more appearance to reach 250 for the Gunners.