***as Spurs step up their search for a new striker to replace the injured Harry Kane
By Adewale Ohunenese
Tottenham Hotspur have opened talks for Chelsea’s Olivier Giroud, according to reports.
The Blues striker, whose current contract expires in the summer, is set to leave Stamford Bridge in search of regular game time ahead of the European Championships in the summer.
Giroud won the FA Cup in his first season at Chelsea, and played a significant role in the Blues’ Europa League triumph the following year under Maurizio Sarri.
However, the arrival of current boss Frank Lampard and the emergence of Tammy Abraham as the club’s first choice striker has seen the former Arsenal man slip down the pecking order.
Inter Milan have been closely linked with a move for the 33-year-old, with boss Antonio Conte thought to be keen on reunion with the forward.
But according to Di Marzio, the Serie A side would prefer to sign the striker on a free transfer in the summer, which has alerted Spurs.
And the report claims Jose Mourinho have made an approach to sign Giroud before Friday’s deadline, as they step up their search for a striker.
Chelsea and Arsenal fans took to social media to react to the reports, with many less than pleased about the prospect of seeing the forward playing for fierce rivals Tottenham.
Lampard has previously admitted that Giroud would be allowed to leave the club if the right deal materialised.
“With Ollie [Giroud] the situation is, if it’s right for everybody, and first and foremost that’s us as the club, then we’ll look at whether he can leave the club.
“He’s been a great professional here, who has continued to train professionally without many opportunities. But I still have to make a decision for the football club, and nothing’s done yet.
“Everyone’s talking about it so I’m not going to beat around the bush. I think his agent has spoken to the club, but until anything’s done he’s a Chelsea player.”
‘Snake, disgrace’ – Arsenal and Chelsea fans fume as Tottenham open talks for Olivier Giroud