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Atlético Madrid make loan-to-buy inquiry for Olivier Giroud — report

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Striker would leave after a winning half-season in Blue in a Europe-wide “waltz of strikers”

Chelsea v Manchester United - The Emirates FA Cup Final

Gianluca Di Marzio is the one breaking this story, as part of his supposed “waltz of strikers” around Europe.

He claims that Atléti have met with Chelsea in London, inquiring about a loan with an option to buy for Olivier Giroud. Chelsea, on the other hand, insist that if there is to be an option, it needs to be mandatory.

In other words, Chelsea are supposedly ready to part with La Barbe Magnifique after just one-half season, a half-season in which he gelled Antonio Conte’s attack by being the target man we were missing, and displaced Álvaro Morata to become our starter in the FA Cup.

Things have changed since May, of course. At Atléti, backup striker Fernando Torres has left and they have a hole to fill. Giroud fits their style nicely and would be a good second option to Diego Costa.

At Chelsea, Conte and his target-man system are gone, to be replaced by a vastly different style of play. It may be that Giroud doesn’t fit with Sarri’s plans, although that wouldn’t be because of his lack of pace. Gonzalo Higuain, never the speediest of strikers, thrived under Sarri at Napoli and, even though he’s now 30, there’s an incessant flow of rumors connecting him to Chelsea.

In fact, Di Marzio’s whole story is predicated on Chelsea’s supposed continuing pursuit of the Juventus striker. But even Di Marzio admits that a deal isn’t close, as Higuain’s brother/agent Nicolas is currently in Buenos Aires and not conducting negotiations with anyone.

That said, Chelsea do appear to have a glut of strikers already with Morata, Batshuayi, and Giroud and maybe even Tammy Abraham, although where each of those players fits in Sarri’s mind remains to be seen. Moving one of them out could make sense, either on loan or perhaps permanently.

Giroud, for all his magnificence for Chelsea and France, could be one of the likelier victims, even though this is the first time we’re hearing of any potential move away from Stamford Bridge.

There’s the human side of this, too, however.

How often has a player been with us for just four months and yet won over Chelsea support the way Oliver Giroud has? He battled until he was literally bloody, he made the team better, he said all the right things and appeared to mean them, and generally was the perfect guy at the perfect time.

And who can forget his run into the stands to embrace David Luiz after scoring in our epic May victory over Liverpool?

Logic dictates that Giroud leaving would make sense. Logic doesn’t rule the heart, though. I’d be sorry to see him go.