CHELSEA star Olivier Giroud almost joined Lazio last summer, his Italian representative has revealed.
The 34-year-old is said to have stayed at Stamford Bridge because the Blues could not find a replacement.
In an interview with Italian newspaper Tuttosport, Vincenzo Morabito, who has been working with Giroud's agent Michael Manuello on a move to Italy, said: "Giroud was one step away from Lazio a year ago.
"If Napoli had sold [Dries] Mertens to Chelsea, the Frenchman would have become Biancoceleste."
He is out of contract at the end of the season and it seems likely he will leave Chelsea.
The France international has been linked with a host of clubs in the last couple of seasons.
He was rumoured to be joining Juventus in January but was said to be disappointed at their offer of a six-month contract.
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West Ham also continue to be linked with a move, giving Giroud the chance to stay in London.
And there were rumours of a transfer to Atletico Madrid in January.
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Chelsea had been linked with Mertens last summer but any potential deal was quashed when he signed a new contract at Napoli.
The Blues may look to sign Erling Haaland instead this summer, although there are several clubs interested in the Norwegian superstar.
Morabito has also claimed that Manchester City are interested in signing Juventus midfielder Adrien Rabiot.