Chelsea forward Olivier Giroud has confirmed that London rivals Tottenham Hotspur were interested in securing his services during the winter transfer window.
The Frenchman looked set to depart from Stamford Bridge in search of more regular first-team action earlier in the summer, with the Blues prepared to sanction an exit if they were able to secure services of a quality replacement.
However, Giroud was ultimately forced to remain with the West London club despite being eager to leave, and he revealed that Serie A giants Inter Milan were his preferred destination after speaking with their head-coach Antonio Conte.
“In January, I saw myself far away from Chelsea. I saw six complicated months ahead of me. That’s why I had the desire to change scenery. I tried to leave in January. It was all done, but in the end Chelsea didn’t want to let me go,” Giroud told Telefoot.
“Everyone knows that Inter’s sporting project was the most interesting for me. Them aside, Lazio and Tottenham also looked at me. At one point, it was a question of where I wanted to play. I talked to Conte on the phone, he’s known me from when he took me to Chelsea: that was an advantage for me.
“In addition, Inter play in the Champions League. They’re a great club. Lazio, for their part, tried absolutely everything, even coming to London to try something, but the deal was blocked. I also talked on the phone to Lyon’s president, who expressed an interest in me, but I told him that my priority was going to Inter.”
France international forward has since been given more first-team opportunities at Stamford Bridge, founding back of the net twice in six games since the start of February and some reports claimed that former Arsenal forward could remain at London club for another season.