Giroud's stocks rising
Montpellier director Laurent Nicollin has indicated that Ligue 1 top scorer Olivier Giroud will cost a pretty penny - between €16 and 20 million - for any club looking to sign the France international this summer.
With Giroud setting Ligue 1 alight this season with 14 goals in 19 appearances, interest is coming in from many of Europe's top clubs, but Laurent Nicollin - son and delegate of Montpellier president Louis Nicollin - says that the powerful striker won't be going cheap.
"I'm reading everywhere that Olivier Giroud has a release clause of €10 million in his contract, but it's not really as simple as that," explained Nicollin of the 25-year-old star whose goals have kept Montpellier in the upper reaches of the league table this season. "The fact that Olivier has become a France international entails modifications to his release clause, as will future caps and participation in Euro 2012. Nothing is fixed, and the clause can rise as a function of these parameters. Right now, the sum would be more like €16 to 20 million, and can still change."
Indeed, Nicollin was keen to underline that Giroud is still improving and that any eventual transfer offer will need to be assessed on its own merits - and valued accordingly - only at the end of the season.
"Olivier has really grown since coming here, and the fact that he has broken into the France side while playing for us is a source of great pride," he said. "No doubt there will be offers for his signature in June but we'll discuss that when the time comes."
No departures before June
Giroud hasn't been the only element of Montpellier's strong first half of season 2011-12, but Nicollin is adamant that any attempts to lure their stars away from the Stade de la Mosson will have to wait until the summer, and will only be agreed should the players in question agree.
"Concerning Olivier, Younes [Belhanda] and Mapou [Yanga-Mbiwa] - who are the three names mentioned most - they will remain with the club next season if they so desire," Nicollin explained. "If they want to leave, they will be able to do so if we can find deals that suit both them and the club. What is certain is that no-one will be leaving our squad before the end of the season."