Inter were on the verge of signing French international striker Olivier Giroud in January 2020 but the deal fell apart when Chelsea failed to sign a replacement for him, British journalist Nizaar Kinsella has revealed.
Speaking to The Italian Football Podcast Kinsella revealed that Giroud and Inter had already signed a contract and the former Arsenal striker was raring to move to the Nerazzurri.
However, the deal was conditioned on Chelsea being able to sign a replacement for the Frenchman but failed to do so when being unable to capture Edinson Cavani as well as Dries Mertens, so Giroud ended up staying with the Blues.
“Giroud to Inter in January 2020 was all lined up. Giroud was 100 percent going to Inter. It had a condition attached to the transfer, that Chelsea had to find a replacement.
“They went for Edinson Cavani and Dries Mertens. Neither transfer Chelsea could get done. They were open to a loan deal or buying the last six months of their contracts.
“Chelsea didn’t want to pay a big fee or offer a long contract for an older player. So it proved too difficult to do.
“Giroud had a contract signed for Inter. The transfer fee wasn’t going to be a problem, Inter and Chelsea were only a million out in negotiations. He was ready to go.
“Frank Lampard was quite annoyed about it. Because he wanted Giroud out as his head had been turned and he wanted a new striker in. Lampard was annoyed. Especially seeing Man Utd sign Bruno Fernandes that month.”
Inter were not the only club interested in Giroud as both Lazio and Tottenham were very keen on signing him, and the player was also open to moving to either of those clubs.
However, Kinsella continues, Chelsea weren’t going to let former coach José Mourinho get his hands on Giroud but a weren’t going to stand in the Frenchman’s way otherwise, if a replacement had been found.
“He would have happily gone to Lazio or Spurs too, who both wanted to sign Giroud too. Chelsea would have blocked the Spurs transfer and Lazio couldn’t offer as good terms as Inter.
“So Inter was his destination and it collapsed because Chelsea couldn’t get a replacement.”