New Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud has revealed France manager Didier Deschamps told him to leave Arsenal to boost his World Cup hopes.
Giroud could make his Chelsea debut in Monday’s Premier League clash against Watford, having moved to Stamford Bridge on deadline day of the January transfer window.
The 31-year-old Frenchman was also wanted by the likes of Borussia Dortmund, Sevilla and Roma, but he opted to remain in London and joined the Blues in a £18million deal.
His move across the capital comes having fallen down the pecking order at Arsenal this season, and Giroud has revealed he was urged to change clubs for the good of his international career.
“Deschamps didn’t encourage me to join Chelsea, he encouraged me to change clubs,” the striker told French TV station, Telefoot.
“Everyone knows my attachment to the France side and every time I wear the shirt it’s with a lot of pride.
“So of course I want to play the World Cup in Russia, which will surely be my last, so I need to give myself every chance.
“One week before the end of the transfer window, we spoke, yes. I needed to get his opinion, that’s all.”
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Giroud’s place in Arsene Wenger’s side first became under threat following the arrival of Alexandre Lacazette in the summer, although he was keen to fight for his spot and still managed nine goals.
However, following the club-record signing of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in January, he knew his time at the Emirates was over.
“My choice was simple,” Giroud added.
“Last summer, I wanted to stay with Arsenal to try my luck even though Alex Lacazette arrived. The fact remains the coach wanted to recruit another centre forward.
“With Aubameyang signing for Arsenal that would have made it at least three centre-forwards. That’s the logic and why I decided to leave Arsenal.
“There’s obviously a form of disappointment. But you can understand it. Even though I’d spent five and a half magnificent years there it was logical for my career to evolve and to find a new challenge.
“I could have stayed, but I needed solutions, I wanted to stay in the Premier League and Chelsea were a great option for me. There was Dortmund interested, but for a loan deal. There was Sevilla, and my agent received a call from Roma at one stage.
“But the choice was fairly clear and obvious from the moment I knew Antonio Conte wanted to work with me.”