Olivier Giroud discusses his 2009 link with Celtic; wanted Parkhead move

By David Walton

October 13, 2021

Olivier Giroud has opened up on the 2009 interest Celtic had in his services as he discussed why he didn’t join the Hoops.

Giroud, currently with AC Milan as his glistening career continues, was bursting onto the scene with French Ligue 2 outfit Tours. At the time, it was reported that Celtic were closing in on a £2.5m move for the striker [Daily Record].

In the end, Giroud would sign for Montpellier and go on to become a major success with EPL and UCL success to his name. Celtic, meanwhile, would instead bring in Robbie Keane on loan from Tottenham one month later.

Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

And he’s revealed exactly what happened during that period that made him forget his preferred move to Celtic Park.

Excerpts from his new autobiography have been published by the Scottish Sun, with Giroud saying the following: “I scored 23 goals in 40 games and was the top goalscorer. I won the Ligue 2 Player of the Year trophy and my salary increased to €15,000 per month. The phone started ringing and several clubs were interested in me. Montpellier and Monaco, but also Celtic and Middlesbrough.

“My agents were working flat out to get me the best contract at the best club. My preference is Celtic and their legendary stadium, with its 60,000 capacity, is the stuff of dreams. I could already see myself there. Strategically, this club would be a great springboard to realise my ambition to eventually play in the Premier League.

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“But in the meantime, my agents Alain and Guillaume come up with the idea of approaching Louis Nicollin, the now much-missed chairman of Montpellier. Straight off, he says ‘What are you going to do in Scotland in KILCHMARCHNOCK!’ Mentioning the town of Kilmarnock is a slightly round-about way of bad-mouthing the whole Scottish championship. The chairman is desperate to persuade me not to sign for Celtic, who at this point are top of my list. I ended the call asking if I can think about it for a little while, but I already know my future lies with this club.”

Olivier Giroud at Celtic would’ve been a smash-hit

Giroud had all of the attributes necessary to be a rip-roaring success in Scotland. His physicality and aerial presence also would’ve given us something different that we didn’t have at the time under Tony Mowbray.

However, it would’ve taken a miracle for Giroud to come to Celtic and help rid us of the problems we had at that time. We all know how disastrous the Mowbray debacle was. Even Robbie Keane couldn’t undo the damage that had been done earlier that year.

Regardless, it’s a shame we couldn’t have gotten this one over the line. Giroud has gone on to win domestic, European, and international competitions whilst playing a huge part in all of them. His legacy in football is now inarguable.

Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

Granted, he likely wouldn’t have stayed at Parkhead for long. His ambition was always to play in the English Premier League. That’s not something he can be faulted for, it’s the same for many foreign talents that come to Celtic Park.

Giroud simply joins the list of great iconic talents that we’ve missed out on in the past. At the very least, it’s clear he looks upon Celtic favourably to this day given the context of his comments.

In other news, Celtic signing Giorgos Giakoumakis “made headlines all over the world” last season