Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud has revealed he was close to a move away from Stamford Bridge earlier in the year, and admitted he would be happy to head to Serie A.
Chelsea were expected to offload Giroud back in January as they attempted to trim their squad.
Giroud, stuck behind Tammy Abraham at the time in the pecking order, was believed to be a target for Antonio Conte at Inter Milan.
Reports claimed a move was close to being confirmed before the window slammed shut, but Chelsea ended up keeping him around.
Giroud ended up having a solid second half of the season, and managed to get a few starts under his belt when Abraham was kept out through injury.
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The French veteran scored five goals in the final six games of the season as Chelsea finished fourth in the league.
Giroud was rewarded with a one-year contract extension to keep him at Stamford Bridge until next summer, but Chelsea then spent big on attacking reinforcements.
Striker Timo Werner signed for the club from RB Leipzig in a deal worth £53million, pushing Giroud back down the pecking order.
As a result, he has only made one appearance in the league, getting 14 minutes on the pitch against West Brom.
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And now, the 34-year-old has hinted he would be open to leaving the club, admitting he won’t be returning to France, but could move to Italy.
He aimed a sly dig at Chelsea boss Frank Lampard by saying a move to Italy would be beneficial because they “appreciate experienced players”.
Giroud said: “I’ve been close to moving to Serie A.
“They appreciated experienced players there, but the transfer didn’t materialise.
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“For the future we will see what happens.
“I will decide by evaluating the opportunities I will have.
“I’m not ruling out anything, but for now I don’t see me returning to Ligue 1.
“I’d like to play at the highest level in Europe for another two or three years, then maybe I’ll go to the United States.”
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