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Chelsea are reportedly closing in on signing Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud for £18m. With Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang understood to be nearing a move to join the Gunners before the deadline, Arsenal have softened to the thought of allowing Giroud to join their London rivals. Antonio Conte has been quite vocal about wanting to bring another striker to Stamford Bridge before the ongoing window slams shut and after being linked to scores of players, the Blues are believed to be targetting Giroud.
He has been one of Arsenal’s most loyal players until now but he could be tempted to join the defending champions in search of more time on the field. At Arsenal this season, the striker has been used mainly as an impact sub. When Alexandre Lacazette joined the club, it was unsure as to whether or not Giroud would receive adequate playing time but the towering Frenchman has been one of their most influential players despite coming on as a substitute on most occasions.
Every time Arsenal were struggling in the dying minutes of the game, Arsene Wenger has turned to Giroud and the player has come on and made an almost instant impact. In fact, he has appeared 25 times for the club this season so far, out of which he has come on as a substitute 15 times.
He has scored 7 goals until now and that is quite an impressive tally considering the number of minutes he’s spent on the field. It is often tough for players to do well even when they start regularly and the way Giroud has made such a stellar impact from the bench is truly commendable.
So it comes as no surprise that Chelsea are keen on signing him either on a permanent basis or on a loan. Alvaro Morata’s form has taken a massive hit due to exhaustion since he has been playing day in and day out. Moreover, it is quite evident that Conte does not trust Michy Batshuayi enough and with rumours suggesting the Belgian could leave before the end of the day, signing a player like Giroud seems to be the need of the hour.
Chelsea were also linked with Edin Dzeko but with the transfer window set to slam shut tonight, they might be forced to make a last-ditch attempt for Giroud if the deal for the AS Roma star does not materialise. One might argue that the Arsenal forward is unlikely to receive enough game time at Chelsea as well but the fact is that Conte is in search of a player who can do what Giroud is doing for the Gunners. And from what we have seen, the striker is in pretty good shape. Hence, given a choice, Chelsea must most certainly try to lure Giroud to Stamford Bridge before 11 pm.