Our colleagues at L’Équipe report that French international and Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud has in recent days made considerable & positive strides towards reaching an agreement over personal terms with Serie A side Inter Milan.
The 33-year-old currently sits third in the pecking order at Chelsea behind Tammy Abraham and Belgian international forward Michy Batshuayi. He would also sit third in the pecking order at Inter, behind Romelu Lukaku and Lautaro Martinez, but Antonio Conte’s system deploys two centre-forwards at the same time and the rotation would mean that France’s #9 would receive considerably more playing time, notably in the Europa League.
Giroud knows that if he wants a guaranteed place at EURO 2020, then he must make a move next month to procure more playing time than he is currently receiving in London under the orders of Frank Lampard. He had been hoping to turn it round at Chelsea but after not featuring at all since starting against West Ham United on 30th November, he appears resigned to the fact that he must look for football elsewhere, despite having a particular attachment to life in London.
Although no agreement on personal terms has yet been reached, his camp are very close to a provisional deal with Inter Milan, who are showing their intent in including Giroud in their plans for the rest of the campaign with an impressive financial proposal.
In France, Lyon have enquired, but they simply can’t match Giroud’s €500k a month gross salary. In theory, his absolute preference would be to remain in the Premier League, but Crystal Palace’s expression of interest has not gone any further yet.