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Olivier Giroud reveals the bizarre reason he didn’t join Celtic when he wanted to


Olivier Giroud could have been plying his trade in Scotland early in his career (Picture: Getty Images)

Olivier Giroud has revealed he wanted to move to Celtic back in 2010, describing their ‘legendary stadium’ as the ‘stuff of dreams’ and it was only the threat of playing against Kilmarnock that stopped the move happening.

Having starred for Tours in Ligue 2, clubs came calling for the French striker and of those interested, Giroud really fancied a switch to Celtic Park.

However, persuaded to speak to then-Montpellier chairman Louis Nicollin, he was talked out of it, threatened with the possibility of having to face Kilmarnock.

‘I won the Ligue 2 Player of the Year trophy [in 2010] and my salary increased to €15,000 per month,’ he wrote in his new book: ALWAYS Believe: The Autobiography of Olivier Giroud.

‘The phone started ringing and several clubs were interested in me. Montpellier and Monaco, but also Celtic and Middlesbrough. My agents were working flat out to get me the best contract at the best club.

‘My preference is Celtic and their legendary stadium, with its 60,000 capacity, is the stuff of dreams. I could already see myself there.

‘Strategically, this club would be a great springboard to realise my ambition to eventually play in the Premier League. But in the meantime, my agents Alain and Guillaume come up with the idea of approaching Louis Nicollin, the now much-missed chairman of Montpellier.

Louis Nicollin (Picture: Getty Images)

‘They advised me to take his call and told me, “You are free to decide which club you want to play for, but you should listen to what he has to say”.

‘Flattered that this legend of French football wants to speak to me, I agree. Listening to him, I realise how much this club wants me.

‘Straight off, he says “What are you going to do in Scotland in KILCHMARCHNOCK!”

‘Mentioning the town of Kilmarnock is a slightly round-about way of bad-mouthing the whole Scottish championship.

Giroud won Ligue 1 with Montpellier, the only time they have won the title in their history (Picture: Getty Images)

‘The chairman is desperate to persuade me not to sign for Celtic, who at this point are top of my list. He said, “Come to us, you’ll be all right — you’ll be happy”.

Giroud did indeed move to Montpellier where he had two fantastic seasons, scoring 39 goals in 85 games and winning the Ligue 1 title in 2012.

That success saw him earn the move to the Premier League which he had long been plotting, signing for Arsenal in the summer of 2012 and staying in England until 2021 after three-and-a-half seasons with Chelsea.


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