With CAS reducing the club’s transfer ban to one window and therefore enabling us to delve into the market again in January, there are set to be changes at Chelsea. One of those changes is likely to be in the form of Olivier Giroud’s departure (with Chelsea now able to secure a replacement, if needed).
While Giroud’s departure is more or less ascertained, his destination is still a mystery. After being courted by Inter Milan for quite a few weeks, and their rivals AC Milan as well to a lesser degree, it now looks like both of the Milan clubs have decided otherwise. However, a new club have reportedly entered the fray, with Diario AS claiming that Atletico Madrid have thrown their hat into the mix.
Los Rojiblancos, who are only 6th in La Liga, have had even greater troubles in scoring goals than usual after Antoine Griezmann’s summer departure. With Diego Costa either injured or ineffective and the streaky Alvaro Morata not finding his shooting boots until mid-October (1 goal in his first 7 games of season, 6 in 9 since), Atletico have started searching for strikers to buy in January. While Edinson Cavani does remain their primary target, Giroud is a viable alternative in case Cavani decides against the switch to Spain. It’s worth noting that Chelsea and Atletico have done a fair few business deals in the recent past. In fact, it would be almost poetic if Giroud replaced or joined Diego Costa to play alongside Alvaro Morata.
Giroud has found game-time hard to come by this season, both due to Tammy Abraham’s scintillating form and Frank Lampard preferring Michy Batshuayi as Tammy’s deputy, necessitating a search for greener pastures — though it should be noted that he’s been a consummate professional throughout this situation, as we’d expect from him. While Giroud’s inclusion in France’s Euro 2020 squad is more or less guaranteed, it would still behoove him to play a bit more than he has so far this season.
With January not being far away now, we have to sit and observe if something develops on this front. Stay tuned!