Olivier Giroud has been in this sort of position before. Just six months before the 2018 World Cup, the French striker found himself out of favour at Arsenal. Concerned that his starting position for the national team might be at stake, Giroud forced his way to a club where he would stand a better chance of playing more regularly - at this time, Chelsea. History has somewhat repeated itself.
Now, with Euro 2020 on the horizon, Giroud is far from first choice at Stamford Bridge and looks set to leave during the January transfer window. According to recent reports, the 33-year-old has options. Dean Smith has been very open in his interest in the French striker, with the Aston Villa boss telling Sky Sports: “We are short in the forward area, everyone knows.”
Despite interest from the Birmingham club, it looks like Serie A giants Inter Milan are the frontrunners for forward's signature. Talks between Chelsea and the Italian outfit had stalled in recent weeks but a number of reports emerged this morning claiming that Giroud had agreed terms with Inter.
With Giroud's mover to Milan looking likely, you have to wonder why Manchester United didn't at least attempt to get in on the action - a short-term move to Old Trafford might be the best solution for all concerned. There would be some logic behind it.
United need a striker to ease the burden on Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford. Giroud would still be second or even third choice, but would still receive more game time at Old Trafford than is currently the case at Stamford Bridge. Of course, the 33-year-old wouldn’t be the long-term centre forward for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to build around, but this is a club that monitored Mario Mandzukic as a stop-gap solution. Why wouldn’t they consider Giroud?
What’s more, Giroud would be a good fit for Man Utd’s style of play - look at how he operates for France, facilitating the likes of Antoine Griezmann, Kingsley Coman, Kylian Mbappe and Paul Pogba behind him. There’s reason to believe Martial and Rashford might benefit from someone like Giroud to play off.
Of course, Chelsea may not wish to strengthen a top-four rival at such a crucial stage of the season, especially when other clubs are interested in Giroud. “It's got to be for the benefit of the club,” Chelsea assistant Jody Morris explained recently when talking about Giroud’s future. “We can't just let people walk out the door if that means we're left short somewhere.”
Giroud seems determined to make a move happen and while it seems unlikely to materialise, Man Utd would be a good place for him to make an impression before the Euros. And Giroud would be an effective plaster on a wound that needs to be covered by the Old Trafford outfit this month.