Olivier Giroud has revealed that Antonio Conte was the reason he decided to move to Chelsea rather than any other clubs.
The 31-year-old completed an £18m move across London from Arsenal as part of a transfer trilogy, including Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Michy Batshuayi. Speaking in an interview with Telefoot, Giroud has revealed that Borussia Dortmund, Sevilla and Roma were all interested in signing him:
“I had an offer from Dortmund, but they wanted a loan. Sevilla were interested, Roma contacted my agent. But when Conte told me he was counting on me, my choice was made.”
Giroud admits Conte was the main factor behind his £18m switch.
“My choice was quite clear and obvious when I knew that Antonio Conte wanted to work with me. I know that Conte appreciates my profile, we work well together.
“I spoke to Didier Deschamps [France manager] about my situation. He did not tell me to join Chelsea, just to change club.”
Giroud, who is still in contention to make the French National team for this summer’s World Cup, had played second fiddle to Alexis Sanchez last season, and was linked with a move to Everton last summer following the arrival of Alexandre Lacazette. The Frenchman decided to stay and fight for his place, but the arrival of. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was the final straw:
“The fact is that the coach wanted to recruit a new forward striker. With his signing at Arsenal, it was three top strikers, and that’s why I decided to leave.
“I could have stayed, but I needed some solutions to get back in. I wanted to stay in the Premier League and Chelsea was a great opportunity for me.”