A surprise contender has emerged for the signature of Chelsea frontman Olivier Giroud.
The World Cup winner has been starved of gametime under new manager Thomas Tuchel, only appearing once in the league since February.
Giroud had forced his way into former boss Frank Lampard’s plans, scoring three goals in four games in December, but Tuchel’s arrival has sounded the end of the Frenchman’s spell at the club.
The Chelsea coach’s compatriot Timo Werner has cemented his placed in the starting lineup, despite a rocky run of form, while recognised strikers Giroud and Tammy Abraham have been restricted to the bench.
Giroud scored nine of his 11 goals this season under Lampard
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Now, with Tuchel set to be given a sizeable pot of money to spend in summer, a move away from Stamford Bridge looks to be mutually beneficial for Giroud and his German boss.
19-time Turkish champions Fenerbahce had emerged as favourites to sign the 34-year-old, which would have reunited him with former teammate Mesut Ozil.
However, according to Le 10 Sport, French side RC Lens have entered the race to sign Giroud.
The northern club currently sit sixth in Ligue 1, and aren’t willing to put this season’s impressive performance down as a one off.
Both Giroud and Tammy Abraham look set for a move away this summer
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Lens’ board are said to be putting together a hefty budget and are confident of bringing Giroud back to France, ten years after he left for Arsenal.
It’s not just the Frenchman that expects to be leaving Stamford Bridge this summer, with fellow striker Abraham angle for a move away.
The Athletic reported West Ham are the frontrunners for the 23-year-old, but David Moyes has dismissed the rumours, claiming the Hammers would not be able to afford the England international’s £40m price tag.