Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud has admitted everything was in place for him to leave the club in the January transfer window.
The French striker was heavily linked with a move away from the club in January after struggling for game time under Frank Lampard.
He looked set for a move to Italy early in the January transfer window, only for it not to materialise, leaving him in London.
The rumours of an exit continued all the way until deadline day, and he says he was pushing for it to happen having envisioned tough months ahead at the club.
“I too, in January, saw myself far from Chelsea,” he told Teléfoot.
“I saw six complicated months ahead of me, and that’s why I had the desire to change the air, so I tried starting in January.
“It was all done, but in the end – for some circumstances – Chelsea didn’t want to let me go.
“The condition for my goodbye was that they found a replacement. On January 31st, I still had the hope of leaving.”
Of all the sides linked with Giroud in January, it was Inter Milan who were seemingly pushing hardest for his signature.
Former Chelsea manager Antonio Conte had made it clear he wanted the Frenchman as he looks for an alternative to Romelu Lukaku and Lautaro Martínez.
Giroud confesses they were the ones who interested him most and made this clear to his other suitors.
“Everyone knows that the sporting project of Inter was the most interesting for me,” he added.
“Lazio and Tottenham also looked for me. At one point, it was a question of where I wanted to go to play. I spoke with Conte on the phone.
“I (also) spoke the (Lyon) president on the phone who expressed interest in me, but I told him that my priority was going to Inter.”