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  • Babajide EverBlazin

Premier League giants consider Olivier Giroud swoop

After missing out on the signing of Cody Gakpo, AC Milan forward, Olivier Giroud has emerged as a surprise transfer target for Manchester United.

Manchester United are in the market for a new striker following Cristiano Ronaldo's exit in November in the wake of his scathing interview with Piers Morgan.

United were strongly linked with a move for forward Cody Gakpo, but the Netherlands international has instead left PSV Eindhoven and joined rivals, Liverpool on a long-term contract.

According to The Times, Man United are now contemplating a January move for former Arsenal and Chelsea striker Giroud.

The 36-year-old scored 105 goals in 253 appearances with the Gunners between 2012 and 2018, before netting 39 times in 119 games during a two-and-a-half-year stint with London rivals Chelsea.

Giroud then left Stamford Bridge to join Milan in the summer of 2021 and he has since established himself as a first-team regular at San Siro, contributing 23 goals and nine assists in 57 games across all competitions.

The Frenchman, who won the Scudetto with Milan last season, is out of contract at the end of the season, but the Rossoneri are expected to offer the veteran striker a new deal.

Meanwhile, Atletico Madrid's Joao Felix is said to have been identified as an alternative, but the Spanish club's valuation of €21m (£18.5m) loan package – including a €15m (£13.2m) loan fee on top of his wages – is proving to be a major stumbling block for United and other interested clubs.

Ten Hag recently revealed that any potential signings during the winter window must match the club's 'sporting and financial criteria'.

"I think we have a squad. We have the players who are matching our criteria. But with all the games that are coming, it is tough competition in all the leagues," Ten Hag told reporters last week.

Man United 'considering Olivier Giroud swoop'

"But if you want to also be in all the leagues and keep playing in all the leagues by winning games and cups as well. So, you need players, you need numbers to cover.

"So, we need good players. Not only numbers, you need quality players to cover that and also that you need competition. And you need also that you can make tactical choices.

"So, we are looking for the right player for our squad and has to match our sporting criteria but also our financial criteria."

Giroud, who scored four goals at the 2022 World Cup for runner-up France, is expected to return for Milan when they face Salernitana in Serie A on Wednesday.

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