Olivier Giroud has revealed that his connection to Arsenal saw him shun a potential move to Tottenham last year, while he also discussed his future career ambitions.
The 35-year-old ended his nine-year stint in English football over the summer, having opted to leave Chelsea in order to make the switch to AC Milan, having spent two-and-a-half years at Stamford Bridge after joining the club in January 2018.
Prior to that, the Frenchman had spent just over six years at Arsenal, scoring 105 goals for the club in 253 appearances and helping the club to win three FA Cup’s during that time, having signed from Ligue 1 side Montpellier in 2012.
That connection with the Gunners seemingly came into play just over 18 months ago, with the World Cup winner spurning the chance to join north London rivals Tottenham Hotspur in January 2020, after having slipped down the pecking order with the Blues.
The veteran striker admitted that while Spurs were interested at the time, it would have felt ‘very weird’ to have played for the club after spending so long at the Emirates.
“Tottenham was interested and Jose Mourinho was interested. But I was so close to signing for Inter, for Lazio, I was desperate for game time,” he told the Mirror.
“Tottenham was there but, to be honest, it was not a clear option because the race for the Premier League top four made it difficult for anything to happen.
“But also in my heart, as a proper ex-Gunner, and as we always say: ‘Once a Gunner, always a Gunner.’ It would have been very weird to have played Tottenham. That’s why it didn’t happen.”
While Giroud ending up staying for another year-and-a-half in west London, notably winning in the Champions League last season, he did eventually secure a move away in the summer after struggling for game time under new boss Thomas Tuchel.
Now in Italy, the forward has revealed what his future career ambitions are, including hopes of potentially taking on a sporting director role in the future, albeit while he is very much still focused on playing for the time being.
“There are so many good examples. Like here in Milan, Paolo Maldini led a good way of life, played until his 40s, Zlatan is so professional and I pay attention to that and it’s massively important.
“I would like to become a sporting director or something like that because football is all I’ve known in my life. It’s more common for former players in Italy, but that’s not why I came to Milan and I think it will get more and more common in England anyway.”