Home News chelseas olivier giroud explains why he rejected celtic move 10 years ago

Chelsea’s Olivier Giroud explains why he rejected Celtic move 10 years ago

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France international striker Olivier Giroud has revealed that he was close to joining Celtic 10 years ago after deciding to leave Ligue 2 side Tours.

Neil Lennon was the Hoops’ newly-appointed manager at the time, and it appeared that he was keen on bringing the Chelsea striker to Parkhead after he scored 21 league goals in 38 games for Tours and emerged as the Ligue 2 Player of the Year.

The Celtic boss had gone about a massive squad overhaul ahead of the 2010-11 campaign, with 15 players leaving and handing him enough funds to re-build for the new season.

Lennon mainly went after talented, young, cheap and relatively unknown players from smaller leagues around the world, and a 23-year-old Giroud would have fitted into the team perfectly.

However, the Frenchman joined Ligue 1’s Montpellier instead, helping them to the title the following season after scoring 21 goals in 36 appearances.

Giroud moved to Arsenal afterwards, but he could have spent those two years at Celtic, and he has revealed the reasons behind snubbing Lennon’s side.

“Yes, I had contact with Celtic in 2010. I could have played at one of the most magnificent atmospheres in the world at Celtic Park. It would also have given me a springboard towards the English Premier League. Middlesbrough, in the Championship, were also interested,” the 2018 World Cup winner revealed.

“But I chose to sign for Montpellier for three reasons. I wanted to play in Ligue 1 before leaving France. I had never played a Ligue 1 match before signing for Montpellier. Secondly, my agents advised me to sign for Montpellier even though they would have made more money if I had signed for Celtic.

“Money has been important in my career, I am not playing football for glory, but it has never been my main aim and that’s also why I preferred to move to Montpellier. And thirdly, Montpellier’s late owner, Louis Nicollin, convinced me not to go to Scotland and so I signed for him instead.”

Celtic missed out on the title to Rangers that campaign by just a point, but could things have been different if they had Giroud leading the line?

They have won all of the next nine titles ever since and are gunning to make it 10-in-a-row next season.

While one Frenchman snubbed the chance to lead Lennon’s attack back then, another Frenchman – Odsonne Edouard – could play a huge role in helping to fire his side to the title next season.