A run of 11 goals in his last 13 games for club and country has set Olivier Giroud out as the Premier League’s most in-form striker, but it could have all been so different for the Frenchman if he had accepted an offer from Celtic.
The 28-year-old revealed this week that he came close to joining the Scottish champions after the Bhoys approached his previous club Montpellier.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with Bein Sport, Giroud admitted that the offer to move had proven extremely tempting.
“I think Celtic is still a great club. I always wanted to play in the Premier League, a move [to Celtic] might have helped,” he explained.
“In the end, I think I made the right decision [to stay at Montpellier].”
It was the French club’s infamous president, Louis Nicollin, who ultimately played a pivotal role in proceedings too.
According to Giroud, the outspoken owner simply asked the forward whether he was keen on the idea of playing football against teams like Kilmarnock or remaining in France.
The Frenchman ultimately opted for the latter and went on to win a surprise Ligue 1 title at Montpellier before sealing a big money move to Arsenal.
A solid spell at the Emirates also saw Giroud force his way into the France national team setup, with the forward part of Didier Deschamps’ squad for the World Cup in Brazil with Les Bleus reaching the quarter final stage.
Despite Nicollin’s negative assessment of life north of the border, however, there are plenty of players who have benefited from a spell in Scotland.
Henrik Larsson remains a popular figure among Celtic fans following a record-breaking stint at Parkhead that preceded spells with Barcelona and Manchester United.
Southampton duo Fraser Forster and Victor Wanyama also thrived at the Glasgow club while Giovanni van Bronckhorst led Holland out as captain in the 2010 World Cup final having once been a favourite of Rangers fans.
And with Celtic able to offer incoming players regular Champions League football, we would not be surprised to see Giroud one day head to the Hoops in much the same way fellow ex-Gunner John Hartson did.
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