Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud is poised to join AC Milan in the summer while Arsenal defender William Saliba is a transfer target for German outfit Bayer Leverkusen.
According to a report from Italian publication Calciomercato.com, veteran Chelsea forward Olivier Giroud has reached an agreement in principle to sign for Serie A giants AC Milan in the summer transfer window.
Giroud has been with Chelsea since January 2018, having joined from London rivals Arsenal. During his time at Stamford Bridge, the Frenchman has been a valuable member of the team, even though he hasn’t always been a regular starter. Till date, the 34-year-old has featured 119 times for the Blues, scoring 39 goals and setting up 14 more.
Even though he has not seen game-time come by that frequently in the 2020/21 season, be it under former boss Frank Lampard or current manager Thomas Tuchel, Giroud has still managed a tally of 11 goals in 31 games. However, the upcoming UEFA Champions League final against Manchester City this weekend is set to be the veteran striker’s last act in Chelsea colours.
Indeed, Giroud is out of contract at the end of the season and has been constantly linked with a move away, with Atletico Madrid showing an interest in his services, along with AC Milan. However, it seems like the latter have beaten the La Liga champions to the punch for the transfer, as per the aforementioned report.
Milan’s interest in Giroud made a great deal of sense considering that manager Stefano Pioli has no natural centre-forwards to call upon beyond a 40-year-old Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Mario Mandzukic, who was signed in January on a short-term deal, announced his departure at the end of the season, leaving the Rossoneri in need of a new striker, which the signing of Giroud is set to address.
Milan are already said to have an agreement in principle with Giroud’s camp over a two-year contract worth €4 million per season. The report even claims that the 2018 FIFA World Cup winner has started house-hunting in Milan, further indicating that a deal is all but done, with the 34-year-old set to play his final game for Chelsea later this week.
Arsenal ace William Saliba chased by Bayer Leverkusen
Moving from one Frenchman to another, Arsenal defender William Saliba is courting serious interest from German outfit Bayer Leverkusen, reports Kicker.
The 20-year-old signed for Arsenal from French club AS Saint-Etienne in the summer of 2019 and spent the subsequent campaign on loan with the Ligue 1 side. Having been back at the Emirates last summer, Saliba did not enjoy the confidence of first-team manager Mikel Arteta and had to suffice with playing for the reserves, for whom he turned out eight times.
Having not even made his first-team debut for Arsenal, Saliba was loaned out to OGC Nice for the second half of the 2020/21 campaign, where he managed to get regular game-time, featuring 22 times in all competitions, scoring one goal in the process.
With the season done and dusted, the Frenchman is on his way back to the Emirates, staring at an uncertain future despite the impending exit of David Luiz, whose contract is set to run out. Indeed, the Gunners are already looking into the market for defensive reinforcements, with Edmond Tapsoba of Bayer Leverkusen said to be a key target.
And it seems like the German outfit have, in turn, cast their glances towards Arsenal’s Saliba as they look to bolster their defence following the retirement of Sven Bender and the departure of Aleskandar Dragovic. The Gunners are holding out for €30 million for Saliba, as per the report, which may be difficult for Leverkusen to stump up.
However, given Arsenal’s interest in Tapsoba, some kind of a player-plus-cash deal could potentially be worked out, should the two teams decide to act on their interest this summer.