Olivier Giroud may have started three of the last four finals Chelsea have contested (FA Cup, Europa League, Super Cup), winning two and narrowly losing one, but his time at Stamford Bridge looks to be up — and probably before his contract expires at the end of the season.
The 33-year-old has made just six appearances, and only two starts so far this season, scoring once. In fact, he has played more minutes for his national team, defending World Cup champions France, than Chelsea, and they are certainly anxious to see him play more often between international breaks.
With Michy Batshuayi in a similar situation as well, but ahead for the backup striker job behind Abraham, Giroud is quite likely leaving in the January transfer window. An early exit could net Chelsea a bit of transfer income, too. Not too much, certainly not nearly as much as the £18m Chelsea paid two years ago, but enough to be worth the effort.
Where Giroud might end up is less clear, but Inter Milan have been a favorite rumored destination, thanks in part to the arrival of head coach Antonio Conte in the summer. According to reports from Italy this week (via Sport Witness), Conte’s reunion with Giroud would only cost him €6-8m.
Inter are locked in a two-team title fight already with Sarri’s Juventus, and Conte’s apparently hoping that Giroud can be helpful in the second half of what should be a neck-to-neck race. Inter have a couple excellent goalscoring options in Romelu Lukaku and Lautaro Martínez already (and maybe Alexis Sánchez, too, when returns from injury in the new year), but we know Giroud’s qualities in making those around him better, and so does Conte.
Getting this deal, or one similiar to it, done this January would probably be in everyone’s best interest.