Olivier Giroud admits France coach influenced Arsenal exit

Olivier Giroud has revealed that France coach Didier Deschamps urged him to leave Arsenal during the recently concluded transfer window. The 31-year-old joined Premier League champions Chelsea last month after the Gunners accepted an £18m sum for his services.

In an exclusive from Telefoot, Giroud admitted that he took the opinion of Deschamps prior to his proposed exit from the Emirates Stadium. Meanwhile, the Frenchman also admitted that he had received interest from the likes of Borussia Dortmund, Sevilla and AS Roma, but his choice was clear to join Chelsea after talks with Antonio Conte, he said: “A week before the end of the transfer window, I needed to hear his (Deschamps’) opinion.

“He didn’t encourage me to join Chelsea. But he encouraged me to change clubs. Dortmund were interested but for a loan deal. There was Sevilla and my agent also received a phone call from Roma. But my choice was quite clear and obvious when I knew that Antonio Conte wanted to work with me.”

Giroud had a tough time at Arsenal during the first-half of the campaign, where he was restricted to just one start in the Premier League. As a result, he opted to link-up with the west London outfit, where he is assured of competing for regular first-team football unlike at the Emirates.

Chelsea have lacked the presence of a targetman in the ranks since the departure of Diego Costa earlier in the season, and Giroud could be the perfect fit for the short-term, considering the club are struggling to get Alvaro Morata onto the pitch due to a nagging back problem.

The Premier League holders are presently in a tussle to secure a top-four spot for next season, and it is widely suggested that Antonio Conte could get the sack, should the club fail to achieve qualification to the Champions League.