Olivier Giroud 'Did Everything' to Leave Chelsea in January Transfer Window

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistMarch 8, 2020

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 03: Olivier Giroud of Chelsea during the FA Cup Fifth Round match between Chelsea FC and Liverpool FC at Stamford Bridge on March 03, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Visionhaus)
Visionhaus/Getty Images

Chelsea forward Olivier Giroud has said he did "everything" he could to leave the club in the January transfer window.

The France international striker was strongly linked with a move away from the Blues earlier in the year, but he ended up staying at the club and is currently the team's starting centre-forward, with Tammy Abraham injured.

Speaking to Telefoot (h/t Goal), the 33-year-old opened up on his efforts to get a move in January and the clubs who were interested in signing him:

"Even I saw myself elsewhere to be honest. I went through six complicated months. That's why I tried to leave in January. I did everything [to leave]. In the end, with the circumstances, Chelsea did not want to let me go. The crucial condition for my departure was to have a replacement.

"The most interesting club for me was Inter Milan. The problem is that it dragged on. In the end, and even if Lazio were there towards the end and Tottenham too, it was no longer a question of where I was going to leave but could I leave. There was nothing to do. I was stuck."

Giroud added that he also attracted interest from Lyon, but making the switch to Inter was a "priority."

In the same interview, the former Arsenal man said Major League Soccer was a possibility too, although that move would have hindered his chances of playing for France at the UEFA European Championship in the summer, per football writer Jeremy Smith:

Jeremy Smith @jeremysmith98

Giroud: Deschamps warned me. We briefly spoke about MLS but that wasn't an option if I wanted to play in the Euro. https://t.co/3wvSLA1if0

Although the striker was keen to depart in January, he has since said that he would like to extend his stay at Stamford Bridge. Giroud's current Chelsea deal expires at the end of the campaign, meaning he is currently free to talk to clubs with a view to signing a pre-contract.

After being named in the starting lineup for Sunday's Premier League showdown with Everton, Giroud has now started the last five games for Chelsea in all competitions.

Per Sky Sports Statto, it's been a long time since Giroud was given such an extended run of starts:

Sky Sports Statto @SkySportsStatto

📊 Billy Gilmour (18 years, 271 days) makes his 1st PL start, the 4th youngest player to start in PL this season, after Saka, Greenwood & Martinelli Olivier Giroud starts his 3rd successive PL game, best run of league starts since Sept-Oct 2018 https://t.co/GeT8J6DR2F

As he has done throughout his career, the veteran is proving himself a useful option at the top end of the field. Football writer Paul Brown was full of praise for the striker's display in the 2-0 win over Liverpool in the FA Cup on Tuesday:

Paul Brown @pbsportswriter

And another thing. This result wasn't possible without #Giroud. Absolutely tireless, brilliant hold-up play, always providing an out ball. Gave Joe Gomez kittens. Deserves huge credit for coming into side after so long frozen out #CFC #CHELIV

Giroud will be cherishing this time in the team, as he has so frequently been on the fringes at Chelsea. For the Blues, having him around for another season would be useful, as the forward offers a different option and a strong alternative in cup competitions.

However, as Giroud edges towards the twilight of his career, he will want to get as many minutes as possible. At Chelsea, that looks unlikely beyond the current campaign.