Chelsea star Olivier Giroud has opened up on how the Blues stopped his move back in January.
Giroud had been demoted to a third choice striker at the club after the arrival of Frank Lampard. And with the Euro 2020 coming up, the French World Cup winner wanted to switch clubs to get more game time under his belt.
However, the Blues turned down offers from multiple clubs and refused to let the 33-year-old leave. Giroud has now gone on to reveal what exactly happened behind the scenes.
There were offers from Lyon, Lazio, Tottenham Hotspur and Inter Milan and it was with former Chelsea coach Antonio Conte at Inter that Giroud wanted to be reunited. However, the Blues failed to find a replacement striker and hence tied Giroud down to the club.
He said, “I was watching myself leave Chelsea in January. I saw six complicated months ahead of me and that’s why I had the desire to change my air. So, I tried to leave in January. It was all done, but in the end, Chelsea wouldn’t let me go. The conditions weren’t there for my farewell and they couldn’t find a replacement. At the end of January, I still had the hope of leaving.”
“Everyone knows that Inter’s sporting project was the most interesting for me, then Lazio and Tottenham also looked for me. At one point it was a question of where I wanted to play.”
“I spoke to Conte on the phone, he knew me from when he was coach of Chelsea. This was an advantage for me. Inter play in the Champions League, it’s a great club, Lazio, for its part, tried everything and even came to London to try something but the deal was blocked.”
“I spoke to the president (of Lyon) on the phone who expressed his interest in me, but I told him that my priority was going to Inter. Postponed departure? Who knows.”
To be fair to Chelsea, Lampard did finally let Giroud in to the team (injury to Abraham and Batshuayi’s continuing bad run) and the Frenchman has since then taken advantage of the chance and proved his mettle to his European courtiers.
It is being reported now that Giroud has turned down a one year contract extension offer from Chelsea and is keen on joining Inter in the summer again where he has demanded a 3-year contract from the Serie A club.