Atletico Madrid have set their sights on Chelsea forward Olivier Giroud, who could be available for free this summer.

According to El Gol Digital, Atletico Madrid have emerged as the potential destination for Olivier Giroud. It appears Diego Simeone has asked his club to eye a summer swoop for the Chelsea forward, whose contract at Stamford Bridge expires at the end of the season.

Giroud has given no hint over a possible extension, especially with Thomas Tuchel keen on undergoing a major overhaul in the number nine department next season. It has put Atletico on red alert, although the Spanish outfit are set to face stiff competition from Inter Milan and Lazio.

Atletico Madrid’s interest in Giroud stems from Simeone’s trust in French forwards, with the tactician having previously gambled with the likes of Kevin Gameiro, Moussa Dembele and Antoine Griezmann.

The Chelsea forward, having featured in over 250 games in the Premier League, also brings with him a vast amount of experience that could be useful, as Los Colchoneros prepare for life without Luis Suarez.

Chelsea's French striker Olivier Giroud attends a training session at Chelsea's Cobham training facility in Stoke D'Abernon, southwest of London on November 26, 2019, on the eve of their UEFA Champions League Group H football match against Valencia. (Photo by Glyn KIRK / AFP) (Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images)

Ready for a new chapter in his career? (Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images)

Although the forward was signed from Barcelona last summer, he has a clause in his contract that will allow him to leave Wanda Metropolitano for free this summer. The veteran striker has already been linked with a sensational return to Anfield.

Chelsea, meanwhile, are unlikely to be deterred by the potential departure of Giroud, as they are expected to enter the market for a new number nine one way or another.

One of the names strongly being considered in the west London camp is Erling Haaland. However, the Blues have also identified Romelu Lukaku and even Harry Kane as potential alternatives.

As for their current crop of options, Tammy Abraham is widely expected to leave the club in the summer while Timo Werner is also facing an uncertain future at Stamford Bridge. It should lead to yet another busy window for Roman Abramovich and his team.

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Giroud, on the other hand, should relish the opportunity to work with Simeone. His experience, coupled with the winning mentality should greatly help Atletico Madrid. The Frenchman’s efficiency in front of goal could help the team find a short-term fix, in the event of Suarez’s likely departure from Wanda Metropolitano.

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