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AC Milan want Olivier Giroud for free, but may yet offer £3m — reports

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Colour me surprised

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Manchester City v Chelsea FC - UEFA Champions League Final Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

Chelsea surprised many with the announcement last week that Olivier Giroud’s contract has been extended a further year, and especially by the detail that it actually had been extended back in April, even. Everyone had been assuming for some time that the 34-year-old would be leaving Stamford Bridge this summer, when that was far from a foregone conclusion in reality.

That said, the extension appears to have still not guaranteed Giroud staying with the team. If anything, it’s made things more complicated.

AC Milan had been hoping to sign the veteran striker for free, and may or may not have even agreed personal terms over a two-year deal. But unless Chelsea are willing to let Giroud leave for free despite now having a twelve-month contract — conceivable, but unlikely (we let Mikel go six months early, for example, in 2017) — Milan would have to cough up at least a nominal fee. And the most recent reports from Italy made it pretty clear that they were not willing to do that, unsurprisingly.

However, it looks like Chelsea might yet emerge victorious from that battle of wills (expect nothing less from the Emperor’s Hand), with the Telegraph reporting today that AC Milan are “preparing” an offer of about £3m for Giroud.

Of course, Giroud’s now busy with Euro 2020 and not talking about club football at all, so a resolution in this situation probably won’t be reached until July at the earliest. Plenty of time for further speculation and variations then!