Giroud poised to leave Chelsea in January with several clubs interested
Olivier Giroud is set to leave Chelsea when the transfer window opens in January to secure first-team football elsewhere in order to retain his place in the France squad for Euro 2020.
The Frenchman has been named in Didier Deschamps’ Les Bleus contingent for the upcoming matches against Finland and Sweden, and has been regularly trusted by the France boss in the past, including in their World Cup win together in 2018.
His selection comes despite a lack of playing time at club level, as Giroud has featured for just 33 minutes in the Premier League so far, with new signing Timo Werner and Tammy Abraham ahead of him in the pecking order for the centre-forward position.
In the summer, he came close to signing for Inter only for the move to not materialise.
Should he decide to leave Stamford Bridge this January, who will be his main suitors?
Antonio Conte is a fan of Giroud and was the man who brought him to Stamford Bridge in the first place, with the Italian preferring the idea of a burley centre-forward alongside a partner up top in order to hold up the ball.
Inter have that already in Romelu Lukaku but have proved in recent weeks that they don’t have an adequate replacement in the centre-forward role alongside Lautaro Martinez should they Belgian be out with injury, like he is at the moment.
Giroud previously said he likes the idea of a move to Serie A as it is a league which “appreciates experienced players”, but would he move to another country just to feature as a backup again?
In the summer of 2019 West Ham paid Eintracht Frankfurt £45m for Sebastian Haller, a player who had so effectively played as a wide forward for the German side over the past few seasons.
Manuel Pellegrini and now David Moyes continue to play the Frenchman as a lone striker and it is simply not working. He only receives a starting berth when Michail Antonio is injured, anyway, but lacks the necessary physicality for the hold-up play required for that role in the Premier League, with his play much more suited to facing the opposition goal.
One man famed for his play with his back to goal is Giroud, and if the transfer fee and wages are acceptable to West Ham this could be a no brainer. Key to this one would be that the player doesn’t need to move country or city.
“For the future, we will see what happens. I will decide by evaluating the opportunities I will have. I’m not ruling out anything, but for now, I don’t see me returning to Ligue 1.
“I’d like to play at the highest level in Europe for another two or three years, then maybe I’ll go to the United States.”
Those were Giroud’s words previously to the Daily Express, indicating not much desire to return to France.
However, if no potential suitors emerge in the Premier League, or ones that do but won’t guarantee him first-team football, it is plausible he could return to Ligue 1 for six months, with Deschamps naturally keeping an eye on the French top flight.
A romantic return to Montpellier might be out of the question due to wages, but nearly every one of the elite teams in France could be doing with Giroud.
PSG, Lyon, Monaco, Marseille, Nice, Lille – None would probably say no to a loan deal.