Football briefs: Arsenal | Aston Villa | Leeds United

Giroud moves to Arsenal; Aston Villa chase Feyenoord midfielder and Leeds close to takeover

New Arsenal striker Oliver Giroud is convinced the Gunners can win something next season – and maintains he has the “weapons” to help deliver a long-overdue trophy.

Arsenal confirmed Giroud, part of France’s Euro 2012 squad which was knocked out by Spain in the quarter-finals, had penned a “long-term contract” after joining for an undisclosed fee from Montpellier, which is believed to be £13million. The 25-year-old netted 21 goals in 36 league appearances as Montpellier claimed their first Ligue 1 title last season.

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“There is a good spirit here, and that is another reason why I chose this club,” said Giroud. “I am convinced that, in the future, hopefully next season, we can win something. It is difficult in England because there are so many big teams, but that is what makes it beautiful. It is the hardest league and it won’t be easy but I am confident.”

Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert is hopeful of reaching a “positive conclusion” to his bid to sign Feyenoord midfielder Karim El Ahmadi. Lambert has confirmed Villa are in talks with the 27-year-old player. It is understood they are close to agreeing a fee for the player in the region of £2.5-£3 million.

Lambert said: “We’re in talks at this moment, those talks are ongoing and we hope to reach a positive conclusion with Feyenoord and the player. Karim is a player who I feel could definitely improve our squad. He has experience of big club football and he could be an important player for us in central midfield. Let’s see how things progress. We’re very hopeful.”

Ahmadi spent four seasons with FC Twente before signing for Feyenoord in 2008. He was born in Enschede, but is of Moroccan descent and has played ten times for Morocco.

Leeds have moved a step closer to a takeover after granting a due diligence period to a potential investor. The Leeds United Supporters Trust confirmed at the end of May that the npower Championship club was in talks with two interested parties regarding a possible takeover at Elland Road. It appears those negotiations have progressed, with the club confirming it has granted permission to an unnamed group of potential investors to conduct due diligence.

A statement on the club’s official website,, read: “Further to our previous statement of May 29, Leeds United can confirm they have granted an exclusivity period to enable a potential investor to carry out the appropriate due diligence.

“It is anticipated this will be a fairly straightforward process.”