Olivier Giroud has completed his £17.5m move to Chelsea and has signed an 18-month contract at Stamford Bridge. The France striker is expected to wear the No18 shirt at his new club, with his arrival to be followed by confirmation of Michy Batshuayi’s loan transfer to Borussia Dortmund. Chelsea have employed a strict policy of not offering long-term deals or contract extensions to players who are over 30, but have only bent their rules slightly to secure Giroud, 31.
He will be in the same position in the summer as the likes of David Luiz, Cesc Fabregas and Pedro with a year to run on their respective deals, which may prompt negotiations over a 12-month extension. AS Roma’s Edin Dzeko, whom Chelsea had courted earlier in the window, had been demanding a deal through to at least 2020.
Giroud should be in the stands tonight as the champions take on AFC Bournemouth, and ends a rather scattergun pursuit of a striker to ease the work-load on Alvaro Morata, with the likes of Andy Carroll, Dzeko and, on an agent’s advice, Peter Crouch having previously been considered. Official confirmation of Giroud’s arrival is imminent.