Report: Chelsea Star on Atletico Madrid's Radar
What's the story?
La Liga giants Atletico Madrid are reportedly pursuing an option to sign Olivier Giroud from Chelsea, according to Sky Sports.
The 31-year-old won the World Cup with France in Russia last week and is now on the radar of the Rojiblancos despite a relatively poor season in England.
However, the club is only looking to sign him on loan. But the Stamford Bridge outfit are looking to move him on permanently so they can free up a spot in their squad for a replacement.
In case you didn't know...
Giroud joined Chelsea only in January this year when Arsenal let him go to make way for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. The French striker was initially asked to move to Borussia Dortmund but he had expressed his desire to stay in London.
The Blues paid the Gunners £18m but only gave Giroud an 18-month contract. He has a year remaining on his deal which expires in June 2019.
Heart of the Matter
With Antonio Conte no longer at the club and Maurizio Sarri taking over, Giroud's future in the squad is unclear. He is currently on vacation following Les Bleus' World Cup triumph and will not play a part in all their pre-season encounters.
It has been widely reported that Sarri is keen on bringing Gonzalo Higuain to the club and that will leave no place for Giroud in the starting lineup.
Although Giroud failed to score a single goal at the World Cup, he was hailed for his off-the-ball contributions and France's attack looked lost without a focal point up front in the first game when he did not start.
Probability: 6/10. As mentioned earlier, Giroud is settled in London and will not want to make a move to Spain just six months after switching clubs.
Moreover, Atletico will not be willing to pay big money to sign him on a permanent basis. Even though he has a year left on his contract, he would still cost around £18m.
Video: Giroud's highlights at Chelsea
Giroud is also not Atletico's primary target. AC Milan striker Nikola Kalinic has also been on their radar and the Croatian is reportedly Diego Simeone's first choice. If Milan do allow Kalinic to leave the San Siro, then Atletico may not go for Giroud.
If the move goes through, Giroud will link up with France teammate Antoine Griezmann who rejected a move to Barcelona and signed a contract extension to stay at the club till 2023.