ATLETICO MADRID are reportedly ready to test Chelsea by launching a transfer move for Olivier Giroud.
The Spanish giants confirmed yesterday that they had released ex-Blues forward Diego Costa from his contract.
That leaves them with only veteran Luis Suarez and Joao Felix as out-and-out strikers.
Now Mundo Deportivo claims Diego Simeone’s outfit will attempt to sign Giroud as a replacement once the window re-opens next month.
The 33-year-old Frenchman has struggled during his near three years with the Blues to establish himself as first-choice.
Big-money arrival Timo Werner and Tammy Abraham have been preferred to him in attack this term, although he appears to have gained the trust of Frank Lampard in more recent weeks.
Giroud, who has eight goals in his last eight matches for Chelsea, will become a free agent at the end of the season.
Lampard will be desperate to keep hold of him until the summer to help with his domestic and European aspirations.
But Atletico are allegedly hoping that they can persuade the West London side into business with a small cash offer.
And after their huge outlay last summer, that could persuade the Chelsea hierarchy into selling to help balance the books rather than lose the former Arsenal man for nothing in June.
French international Giroud began his career at Grenoble in 2008 and went on to make his name at Montpellier.
His form there earned him a move to Arsenal in 2012, where he won three FA Cups during his six years at the Emirates and scored 73 goals in 180 matches.
He moved to Chelsea in January 2018 and he has helped the club to Europa League success under Maurizio Sarri.
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