‘If Olivier Giroud decides to come that is because he likes the project’: Patrick Vieira’s Nice confirm interest in Chelsea striker
- Olivier Giroud has expressed frustration at his lack of game-time at Chelsea
- The Blues intend to trigger a one-year extension on his contract this summer
- But Patrick Vieira’s Nice have confirmed their interest in signing the striker
- Technical director Giles Grimandi said the club have discussed his signing
OGC Nice have confirmed their interest in signing Olivier Giroud from Chelsea this summer.
Giroud was expected to leave Stamford Bridge on a free transfer at the end of the season before Maurizio Sarri confirmed the club would trigger a one-year extension in his contract last month.
The Frenchman has featured only intermittently for the Blues this season, with Gonzalo Higuain becoming Sarri’s undisputed first choice up front in the league following his January arrival.
Olivier Giroud has expressed frustration at a lack of game time this season for Chelsea
Patrick Vieira’s Nice have confirmed they are interested in returning to Giroud to France
And it appears Patrick Vieira’s Nice are keen to take advantage of his unsettled status by luring the France World Cup winner back to Ligue 1.
Speaking to Canal Football, former Arsenal player and Nice’s technical director Giles Grimandi confirmed the club have discussed signing Giroud this summer.
‘If Olivier Giroud decides to come that is because he likes the project at OGC Nice,’ said Grimanid. ‘If Olivier is not happy at Chelsea, if he wants to play, we will take all the elements into account.
‘I have spoken with Patrick [Vieira] about Olivier Giroud, but we have not spoken with Olivier Giroud.’
Grimandi helped to bring Giroud to the Premier League back in 2012 after the Frenchman helped inspire Montpellier to a shock title triumph.
The France World Cup winner has only started one Premier League match since January
Nice have been linked with an ownership change in recent weeks – with INEOS chairman Sir Jim Ratcliffe interested in acquiring the club. They finished seventh in Ligue 1, outside of the European places.
Grimandi added: ‘Olivier I know him very well. Very well because I was involved in his transfer from Montpellier to Arsenal. Olivier will choose his destination.
‘For the moment I have not spoken to him. If Olivier Giroud decides to come to OGC Nice it is because he knows the means that we have.’
Giroud has expressed a willingness to step down a level and potentially return to France in order to play more football.
Giroud expressed a willingness to return to France where he won the league with Montpellier
The 32-year-old has starred for the Blues during their run to the Europa League final but he has only started one Premier League match since January.
Speaking on French radio in March, Giroud told RTL: ‘Of course it is frustrating. I feel like there is no competition since January.
‘It is like that, I know that I will only play in the Europa League and I will try to do everything I can to be as effective and decisive as possible for the team.
‘The future could be lively this summer. I am not scared of going down a level to have more playing time. It could be that I end my career in France.’