AC Milan are close to striking a deal to sign Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud this summer.
Giroud had been expected to join the Italian side on a free transfer when his contract expired this month, only for the Blues to trigger a secret one-year option in his deal to keep Giroud around until 2022.
Despite that extension, the likelihood has always been that Giroud will leave Chelsea this summer, but the Blues are now able to demand a fee for the Frenchman instead of letting him walk away for nothing.
Milan have been working on a deal for a while now, and according to Matteo Moretto, a move to the San Siro is now incredibly close for Giroud, who is keen to join a team who will offer him regular first-team football next season.
Fabrizio Romano adds that talks are progressing well between the two teams with a view to an agreement over a permanent transfer
However, the main problem is Milan’s reluctance to pay up for Giroud. They had wanted him on a free transfer and are still looking to make that a reality, but Chelsea are understandably hesitant to simply grant Giroud a move without receiving anything in exchange.
Per Corriere dello Sport, this could actually see the move break down. Milan have told Giroud they will not pay for his services and will instead ask the 34-year-old to put pressure on Chelsea to let him go for free.
Milan want a deal done in the coming days in the hope of having Giroud available in mid-July, and it is suggested that they have hit Giroud with an ultimatum. If he can’t convince Chelsea to let him walk for free soon, they won’t be signing him.