AC Milan are keen on bringing Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud to San Siro this summer but are unwilling to pay for a transfer fee, according to Calciomercato.it.
According to the report, Milan have identified the 34-year-old as their primary attacker target this summer.
Giroud was initially expected to leave Chelsea at the end of his contract this summer, but the club have announced the decision to exercise an extension option in the striker’s contract.
This, however, does not close the door on Giroud’s potential Chelsea exit, the report claims.
Even Giroud himself has recently admitted that he would consider Milan as an option in his response to Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s welcome message.
Thomas Tuchel’s ‘impact’ player
The France international has mostly played a backup striker role at Chelsea, including this season in which he made just 12 starts in all competitions.
But despite his age, Giroud is still a top striker. He was actually Chelsea’s top scorer in their Champions League-winning campaign, with six goals in the competition, 11 goals in all competitions.
Chelsea boss Tuchel clearly values Giroud’s physical presence very highly.
“He [Giroud] can have a huge impact in our team because he has the experience, the physical presence and ruthlessness in the box,” the German said about Giroud in March (via Goal).
Therefore, it is hardly a surprise that Milan reportedly have him high on their transfer wish list.
But Calciomercato claims that Milan do not seem to be “willing to pay even smallest compensation” to Chelsea.
In other words, the Serie A side expect Giroud to reach a mutual agreement with Chelsea to terminate his contract early and enter the negotiation with Milan as a free agent.
While it sounds ridiculous, it might actually be a plausible scenario if Chelsea manage to sign a new striker this summer.
They are unlikely going secure any significant transfer fee, and clearing their wage bill could be a priority this summer.
Particularly as reports suggest Chelsea might have to “smash” their wage structure in order to sign Erling Haaland.