Olivier Giroud shunned a move to Olympique Marseille to stay at Stamford Bridge, according to the Daily Mail.
The Chelsea striker spoke to L’OM as he basks in the glory of France’s 2018 World Cup final win. The Ligue Un outfit flirted with OGC Nice over Mario Balotelli, 27, but turned to the 31-year-old former Arsenal man when talks stalled.
While the Italian is their preferred choice, Marseille would sign both players as they seek to improve their squad and build on last season’s run to the Europa League final.
Giroud, despite constant speculation that Chelsea want to sign Gonzalo Higuain, is determined to fight for his place despite scoring only five goals in 18 Blues appearances last season.
With a potential €60m deal in the offing for Higuain, Giroud is likely to slip further down the pecking order with few clubs interested in signing former Spain international Alvaro Morata, 25.
If the Frenchman is to leave Stamford Bridge, it will only be on a permanent deal with Atletico Madrid’s inquiry over a loan deal rejected out of hand by the Chelsea hierarchy.
Giroud joined Chelsea in a £13m deal from North London rivals Arsenal as he sought to protect his place in France’s World Cup finals squad. Despite a series of impressive performances, he failed to net in Les Bleus charge to glory.