Cheeky move from Conte!
Chelsea manager Antonio Conte is reportedly took the chance this week to make a shock approach for one of Arsenal’s star players.
Conte was present at this week’s FIFA Awards ceremony, where Gunners striker Olivier Giroud was also in attendance to collect the Puskas Award for the goal of the year – his memorable ‘scorpion kick’ strike against Crystal Palace last season.
According to a surprise claim by Don Balon, Conte’s desperate search for a new striker saw him ask Giroud about the possibility of moving to Stamford Bridge.
The France international is said to be happy at Arsenal, however, though it’s easy to see why the Italian felt it was worth trying his luck.
Currently limited to a bench role at the Emirates Stadium, Giroud may have felt tempted to fulfill a similar role at a club at least more likely to compete for major honours in the near future.
The 31-year-old has shown glimpses of fine form this season and last despite not starting regularly under Arsene Wenger, and looks ideally suited to what Conte is reportedly after up front.
The Guardian reported in the summer that Chelsea were after Fernando Llorente before he moved to Tottenham instead, while recent reports from the Daily Telegraph suggest Conte is looking at the likes of Christian Benteke as an option after losing patience with Michy Batshuayi.
The Blues offloaded Diego Costa to Atletico Madrid earlier this season, leaving them with Alvaro Morata as the only option Conte seems willing to rely on on a regular basis, with Batshuayi failing to gain regular playing time.
Still, the Belgian was on the score sheet twice in the weekend win over Watford, so he’ll be hoping he’s done enough for the time being to cool any potential swoop for Giroud.
Chelsea and Arsenal don’t sell to each other too often due to their fierce rivalry, though a few big names such as Ashley Cole, William Gallas and Petr Cech have moved between the two sides in recent years.