As Olivier Giroud explains the COVID-19 pandemic contributed to his decision to stay at Chelsea, Lazio director Igli Tare admits he saw the renewal coming in January.
When talks with Inter broke down, Tare flew over to London on transfer deadline day in January in one last bid to get Giroud.
Instead, the forward has decided to sign a new contract at Stamford Bridge.
“I simply seized my opportunity and I repaid the faith that the manager had shown in me,” Giroud told the club website.
“That's why the club ultimately offered me the chance to continue my time at Chelsea and I accepted immediately because I like it here. I want to keep winning trophies and I want to continue to show the manager that he can count on me.
“Plus, with the whole coronavirus lockdown situation, I didn't really feel comfortable with the idea of moving abroad and uprooting my family. I think a lot about our quality of life and we have a great setup here. I think a lot about my family now.”
Meanwhile, Lazio director of sport Tare spoke to Sky Sport Italia about that January visit.
“I never disguised it in January and I won’t disguise it now, we did have a chance to bring Giroud to Rome and pushed to the very end, because he is still a very strong and experienced striker at age 33.
“It would’ve been a great signing for us, I was able to meet him and recognise he is a great professional with strong motivation. However, at the same time, I had sensed his priority was to remain in London, as his family has lived there for years.
“I knew in my heart that it could be a possibility for the summer, but also that he would certainly have considered a contract renewal with Chelsea.”
Watch Serie A live in the UK on Premier Sports for just £9.99 per month including live LaLiga, Eredivisie, Scottish Cup Football and more. Visit: https://subscribe.premiersports.tv/