Ahead of the January transfer window, it was expected Olivier Giroud would be leaving Chelsea.
He wasn’t getting chances under Frank Lampard and it was made clear in France, and by national manager Didier Deschamps, that he needed game time ahead of Euro 2020.
Inter Milan was long presented as the most likely destination, yet as the French media insisted on interest throughout the winter market, in Italy it was made clear Antonio Conte’s club weren’t committed to making the move happen.
Other clubs were linked, such as Lyon and Tottenham, with the latter wanting an addition in attack due to Harry Kane’s injury absence. Jose Mourinho didn’t get the signing he desired, and will continue to hint at his squad being short for the rest of the season.
Giroud has now spoken to Telefoot about what happened in January, and has confirmed there was an opportunity to join Spurs, but that Chelsea stood in his way: “The most interesting for me was Inter Milan. The problem was that it dragged on. Lazio and Tottenham were there too, but I was blocked.”
Lampard being reluctant to send a player to Tottenham is understandable, given the possibility of the two clubs battling each other for a Champions League place.
Giroud didn’t want to force a move, explaining: “I knew I shouldn’t go on strike, or go to sulk in the locker room. Because it wasn’t me, and because I knew there was a good chance I would stay at Chelsea.”
He was right, and Lampard has since given the Frenchman more chances, and been rewarded with some important performances.