Chelsea forward Olivier Giroud, who has agreed to extend his contract with the Blues for another year, has revealed the reason why he did so after speculations about him leaving the club went rife in January this year.

“I was supposed to leave in the January transfer window because I wasn’t playing much and I needed more game time to make the France squad for Euro 2020,” Giroud explains as quoted on the official website of Chelsea. “I very nearly left the club but I really think that God wanted me to stay at Chelsea.”

The 2018 World Cup winner with France further informed that he had private talks with Chelsea manager Frank Lampard where he was assured that he would be given more match time and that acted as the main reason for him to stay back.

“The manager told me that he couldn’t let me leave because he didn’t have anyone to replace me. Everyone knows what happened so I won’t go back over it but the coach spoke to me privately and told me that he’d give more games.

“He kept his word and what then mattered to me was proving to him that he could count on me when I was called upon,” Giroud said.

The 33-year-old also spoke about what it felt to finally return to training grounds after a suspension of over two months due to the nationwide lockdown imposed in the United Kingdom to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We’re working hard and it really feels good to be back on the pitch, to get to see team-mates again and to simply be playing football, kicking the ball and scoring goals again.

“I’d really missed it a lot. That being said, it’s very unique but it’s fine and spirits are high,” he added.

Meanwhile, the government in last week gave the Premier League the approval to resume the 2019-20 season on June 17 but asserted that all the health guidelines and social distancing measures be strongly adhered to.