Milan legend Paolo Maldini confirms Olivier Giroud on verge of leaving Chelsea

Paolo Maldini has confirmed that Olivier Giroud will swap Chelsea for AC Milan this week.

Despite the Blues opting to hand him a one-year contract extension as recently as last month, the France international has been persistently linked with the Rossoneri .

While Giroud has proven his worth in three and a half seasons at Stamford Bridge, scoring some vital goals and winning the FA Cup, Europa League and Champions League in the process, he has had to settle for a supporting role for much of that time.

Despite the fact that he will be 35 in September, Giroud has continued to score in the Premier League and in Europe. He has never been a goal-a-game striker and has long divided opinion among supporters – not least during his five and a half years at Arsenal – but, likewise, he is a far better footballer than some would give him credit for.

Olivier Giroud looks set to be unveiled at AC Milan imminently

With Zlatan Ibrahimovic suffering a knee injury towards the end of last season and undergoing surgery earlier in the summer, Milan are looking to add to their options up front. Speaking to DAZN, Maldini, now the club’s technical director, has conceded that Giroud’s signing is effectively a done deal.

“Yes, [Giroud] should arrive tomorrow,” he said. ”Olivier is a champion and a fresh winner of the Champions League.

“He is a very reliable player, what we were looking for since we need experienced players like him. We are the youngest team in Serie A.”

Maldini, who made 902 appearances for the Rossoneri and earned a reputation as one of the best defenders in history during his 25-year playing career, revealed that they could sign a younger forward to compete with Giroud and Ibrahimovic. “A young striker could also arrive,” he added.

“The idea is to lay the foundations for the team and then perhaps wait for the final phase of the transfer market.”

Milan midfielder Franck Kessie has been linked with Arsenal and Tottenham, among others, but Maldini suggested that he would try to keep the Ivory Coast international at San Siro. Kessie has entered the final year of his contract and, as things stand, he is yet to commit to a new deal.

“He will be part of the future of Milan,” Maldini said. “We are working on his renewal.”

After spending much of the last decade in the wilderness, Milan were title contenders last season under Stefano Pioli even if they did finish as runners-up to fierce rivals Inter. They have already lost Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma to Paris Saint-Germain, however, and will be looking to avoid any more unwanted departures.

“He is a big loss for us even if we have signed a great goalkeeper [in Mike Maignan],” Maldini admitted.

“He grew up in our academy and seeing what he has done at Milan, the fact that the story is interrupted hurts a little. It is right to think about the past, but the future is more interesting.”

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