Olivier Giroud claims Arsene Wenger’s determination to bring Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to Arsenal was the catalyst for his move to Chelsea.
The France striker had fallen badly out of favour under Wenger this season and made a deadline day move across London to Chelsea for a fee of £18million on transfer deadline day.
But lifting the lid on his decision to leave the club he loved, Giroud has admitted he knew the arrival of £57.5million man Aubameyang would further reduce his playing time and the striker has hit out at the events that led to his exit.
“The fact is that the coach wanted to recruit a new striker and with Aubameyang’s signing at Arsenal, there were three top strikers, and that’s why I decided to leave,” the 31-year-old told French publication Telefoot.
“It made sense for me to take a new direction in my career.
“There was a bit of disappointment, even though I spent five wonderful years there.
“I could have stayed, but I needed a solution to get back in.
“I wanted to stay in the Premier League and Chelsea was a great opportunity for me.”
Giroud also revealed that he was encouraged to move on by France boss Didier Deschamps ahead of this summer’s World Cup.
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“I spoke with Deschamps,” Giroud added. “He didn’t tell me to move to Chelsea, but he did tell me to move clubs.
“Dortmund were interested in me, but for a loan, there was Sevilla, too.
“And at one point my agent received a call from Roma.”