Reports: Chelsea to ‘lose another World Cup star to French giants

Chelsea could be set to lose Olivier Giroud this summer unless his situation at the club change. The French international joined the blues January 2018 but has been limited to a substitute role for most of the time.

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Former Blues manager Antonio Conte prefered Alvaro Morata to the former Arsenal star while his situation remained the same when Maurizio Sarri came in this summer.

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The Blues sold Alvaro Morata in January but Higuain has still found opportunities limited due to Chelsea bringing in Gonzalo Higuain from AC Milan on loan in January.  This has made the world cup winner to start considering his future and could make a move to French club Lyon in the summer.

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When asked bout rumours he could again ply his trade in the French top flight ahead of France Euro qualifiers against Iceland:  “It’s a possibility. But I didn’t make any calls. I’m happy in England. It’s always a pleasure (to be linked) especially since under president [Jean-Michel] Aulas, Lyon is a good club.”

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Giroud’s contract with the Blues is up this summer, and the 32-year-old is anxious for more minutes of first-team action: “I’m definitely looking for more playing time. I aspire to find an important role in a team; now we’ll see what happens.”

Those words don’t sound like those of a player truly content with life at Stamford Bridge. However, Howson believes the potential FIFA transfer ban Chelsea are facing could see Giroud’s contract extended.

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Keeping him would make sense for a squad short of options up top, yet much would depend on the towering frontman’s own preference.

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Giroud recently responded to the Lyon rumours by telling FootMercato (h/t Goal) “it’s a club with very good young players, very good players, a very good staff.” OL are third in Ligue 1.

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It makes sense for Giroud to be agitating either for greater playing time or a move. The former Arsenal man has lost his place in the Chelsea starting XI to January arrival Gonzalo Higuain.

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He’s also found a welcome cohort in his call for more minutes in the form of France manager Didier Deschamps.

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Speaking after Les Bleus beat Moldova 4-1 in a UEFA Euro 2020 qualifier on Friday, Deschamps talked up Giroud’s importance, per Football.London’s Andy Ha: “Giroud is there; he scores goals. He does so too with his club. He’d like to play more, and when he plays in the Europa League, he also scores goals.”

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Giroud found the net in Moldova to cap another accomplished display from the veteran target man who often goes unappreciated, despite a prolific run at both club and international level.

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Deschamps and France won’t get to rely on those skills beyond Euro 2020, with Giroud revealing he is calling time on his international career following the tournament.
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His club career is still going strong, even though a change may be needed. Giroud has scored 10 goals and provided six assists in all competitions this season, with nine of those goals and two of the assists coming in the UEFA Europa League.

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While he’s only started six games in the Premier League, Giroud hasn’t lost his skill as a link player. He can operate with his back to goal and release runners from midfield with deft touches and artful passes.

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Giroud’s technique is dovetailed with raw physical strength and the ability to boss markers in the air. His combined attributes would make Giroud an asset for Lyon, where he could supply more chances for winger Memphis Depay and attacking midfielder Nabil Fekir.

Giroud has already proved his worth in Ligue 1 by powering Montpellier to a shock title win in 2012 before signing for the Gunners. A hat-trick of FA Cups followed in north London, with Giroud assisting winning goals for Aaron Ramsey in two finals.

The FIFA World Cup winner has his detractors but won’t be short of suitors should he be available on a free transfer this summer.

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