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Olivier Giroud leaves Chelsea for Milan

Olivier Giroud has joined Milan on a reported € 2m (£ 1.7m) deal from Chelsea.

Giroud has signed a deal with the Rossoneri – supposedly for two years – after they fulfilled the humble release clause in his contract.

Chelsea triggered a one-year extension for Giroud last season, which meant a free transfer was not possible, but otherwise there were hardly any obstacles in the way.

While Giroud was rarely the first choice after his arrival from Arsenal in January 2018 at Chelsea, the starts were particularly difficult for him after the appointment of Thomas Tuchel.

After the German replaced Frank Lampard in late January, Giroud only made three Premier League starts, none of which came after February 28.

Previously, Giroud had taken on a fairly important role under Lampard after the three-month coronavirus break, scoring six goals in seven starts.

The signings of Timo Werner and Kai Havertz prevented Giroud from building on this form at the beginning of the 2020/21 season – he did not score a goal in the Premier League until December, although he scored five times in the group stage of the Champions League.

This included a remarkable four-goal win in Chelsea’s 4-0 away win over Sevilla, which made him the oldest player (34 years, 63 days) to have played for Real Madrid since Ferenc Puskas (38 years, 173d) in 1965 .

Although Giroud did not play for Chelsea in either the semi-finals or the final of the Champions League, he won a medal in the competition and traveled to Milan as European champion.

Giroud hopes that he will experience a similar promotion as his new team-mate Zlatan Ibrahimovic in Milan. The Swede scored 15 goals in just 19 games last season before sustaining an injury.

The French world champion is the second player to swap Stamford Bridge for San Siro this year, after Fikayo Tomori to Serie A after his loan deal was signed.

Alongside Giroud, Milan are close to two other newcomers, with Brahim Diaz – who was on loan from Real Madrid at San Siro last season – receiving a two-year deal from Los Blancos with an option to buy.

Monaco’s left-back Fode Ballo-Toure will meanwhile also sign.

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