Former Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud reportedly turned down a move to join Premier League strugglers Everton on deadline day of the recently-concluded winter transfer window.
The Toffees are currently 19th in the league table after 20 games and have scored the second-lowest number of goals this season (15). They had their eyes on Giroud, who averaged a goal every 161 minutes during his 10 Premier League seasons.
He scored 90 goals and provided 32 assists in 255 league games for Arsenal and Chelsea combined. Giroud's goal-scoring exploits for France reached a new height at the 2022 FIFA World Cup when he became his country's all-time highest goal-scorer with 53 goals.
While there have been calls for Giroud to hang up his boots for France, the 36-year-old has barely shown any signs of slowing down. The Frenchman won the Scudetto with AC Milan last term and has 10 goals and six assists in 26 games across competitions this season.
Hence, from Everton's perspective, it made sense to go after a proven Premier League striker like Giroud. As per Gianluca di Marzio, the Toffees offered him a six-month contract with an option for another year with €8.4 million in yearly wages if they avoided relegation.
The striker reportedly refused the offer. As per Sky Italia (h/t CultofCalcio), the former Chelsea centre-forward is expected to stay at AC Milan for at least another season.
His current deal at the San Siro expires at the end of the campaign. Everton, meanwhile, ended January without signing a forward.
Instead, they lost the services of two attackers: Anthony Gordon and Salomon Rondon. The former joined Newcastle United for a fee of £45 million, while the latter joined River Plate on a free transfer.
Former Chelsea striker urges AC Milan teammates to up their game amidst recent slump
AC Milan won the Serie A title last campaign but are 15 points adrift from the top of the table after 20 games this season.
I Rossoneri's dip in form has intensified in recent weeks. They have lost four and drawn two of their last six games across competitions.
Their next assignment is a derby against Inter Milan on Sunday (5 February). Former Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud has stated that this could be the turning point in the team's season.
He told Milan TV (h/t SempreMilan):
"I try to encourage my team-mates but it’s a difficult period and we must all work and learn together. The derby will become a turning point in our season because we need to raise the level and we need to win again."
He has registered three goals and an assist in his five encounters against I Nerazzurri.