The former Arsenal forward is frustrated at Chelsea, and OGC Nice are ready to take advantage by confirming their desire to sign the striker.
Chelsea’s transfer plans are very much unknown to the world with the transfer ban and other related news. The Blues are still in the dark over potential new signings, but there could be some outgoings. The Daily Mail are reporting of a possible exit for striker Olivier Giroud as Nice confirmed their interest in bringing the 32-year-old back to France.
In Giroud’s last season in France back in 2012, he starred in Montpelier’s shock title triumph. Following that success, he moved to Arsenal where he enjoyed success under Arsene Wenger scoring more than 100 goals in six years at the club. Giroud joined Chelsea in January 2018 and has since been a support striker than a first choice forward.
Since joining Chelsea, he has been contesting for a place, first with Alvaro Morata, then with latest January addition Gonzalo Higuain. The former Juventus striker has become the clear favourite to start under Maurizio Sarri, and Giroud has since voiced his disappointment at his situation.
He said, “Of course it is frustrating. I feel like there is no competition since January. It is like that, I know that I will only play in the Europa League and I will try to do everything I can to be as effective and decisive as possible for the team. I am not scared of going down a level to have more playing time. It could be that I end my career in France.”
Giroud’s original contract with Chelsea was due to end this summer, and Nice were hopeful of signing him on a free transfer. However, in the light of Chelsea’s transfer ban, the Blues are about to trigger a one-year extension in his deal, and that could see him remain at the club if the transfer ban appeal further fails.
However, French outfit Nice, through their technical director and former Arsenal star Giles Grimandi, have revealed their intention to sign Giroud by taking advantage of his unsettling experience at Stamford Bridge. Nice manager, Patrick Vieira is also seemingly convinced by the potential acquisition and would welcome Giroud’s addition.
Grimandi, who was responsible for bringing Giroud to the Premier League while working with Arsenal back in 2012 expressed his opinion on the current situation. “If Olivier Giroud decides to come that is because he likes the project at OGC Nice,” said Grimandi.
“If Olivier is not happy at Chelsea, if he wants to play, we will take all the elements into account. I have spoken with Patrick [Vieira] about Olivier Giroud, but we have not spoken with Olivier Giroud.”
Giroud has played 62 times for Chelsea in all competitions, scoring 17 goals. However, since January the striker has started only once in the Premier League while being a regular in Chelsea’s run to the Europa League Final. Along with Nice, he has also been linked with a move to Lyon.
If Chelsea do trigger the one-year extension and Giroud decides to leave, Nice have to pay a transfer fee, although it is expected to be a cut-price one. Giroud has certainly hinted on finishing his career in France, and this might well be the opportunity for him to do so.