Olivier Giroud says he wanted “Chelsea and nowhere else” after completing an £18 million deadline day transfer from Arsenal.
Having slipped down the pecking order at Emirates Stadium, and with Arsene Wenger further bolstering his ranks with the £55m capture of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, the France international knew he had to secure a switch.
Various landing spots had been mooted for the 31-year-old, with Everton and Marseille among those to have expressed interest in the past.
He is, however, adamant that Chelsea quickly became his preferred choice, with the reigning Premier League champions offering him the perfect platform on which to further his career.
Giroud told the club’s official website after completing a late window move: “The most important thing was talking with the coach, Antonio Conte. I felt like he really wanted me and he really wanted to work with me.
“I wanted to sign for Chelsea and nowhere else. I really wanted to play more. I wanted to stay in the Premier League, and Chelsea for me is perfect because I can even stay in London.
“But the first reason is the sporting challenge. That has always been my first priority. Everything is here for me to be happy.”
Conte played a key role in luring Giroud to Stamford Bridge, with the Italian’s passion convincing a new recruit that he can bring the best out of him.
“I don’t know him very well but I like the positive energy he brings from the side of the pitch, always supporting his players, talking to them,” added the Blues’ latest addition.
“I think communication is massive in football and in all sports in general.
“For me, the relationship you have with the coach is very important. His tactical philosophy is very good because he is Italian. Chelsea is a strong team defensively and they are quite efficient up front with great players, so I think I will enjoy it.”
Conte has Chelsea in the mix for a top-four finish this season, while they also are also through to the fifth round of the FA Cup and the last-16 of the Champions League – where they will face Hull City and Barcelona respectively.
Giroud is looking forward to chasing down major silverware, saying: “My ambition is to win some trophies. That’s why I am playing football. I am a competitor and I want to win again and again.
“I want to score as many goals as I can to help the team to always reach our target and to be as decisive as I possibly can be.”
Giroud left Arsenal after five-and-a-half seasons in north London which delivered 105 goals – including a Premier League record haul of 17 off the bench.