Olivier Giroud has revealed more details about his Arsenal exit, confirming that Borussia Dortmund offered him a more financially lucrative deal but that the birth of his third child played a key role in his decision to stay in London.
The 31-year-old also highlighted that despite his frustration at being pushed down the attacking pecking order by Arsene Wenger, he still holds a huge respect for his Frenchman for doing right by him after six years at the Emirates.
Giroud ended up moving to Chelsea on an 18-month deal on transfer deadline day in a move that saw the Gunners recoup approximately £18 million.
“It was frustrating at Arsenal obviously,” he told France Football. “For a year and a half, it went from bad to worse. I could no longer continue like that.
“I could not bring myself to spend another year at Arsenal and remain a reserve, even a second reserve.
“The future looked gloomy with the arrival of a new striker [Aubameyang]. I wanted to become happier again by playing, so I left – it is as simple as that.
“The easiest solution was to go to Dortmund. Arsenal were happy, Dortmund as well.
“It was the offer most interesting, financially speaking. I have a very good contract at Chelsea but Dortmund really wanted me.”
Shedding more light on the options open to him going into transfer deadline day, he added: “It happened after a game of poker, like in all transfers. It dragged on, I started to get stressed because my third child was born at that exact moment. That was also why I did not want to go to Dortmund.
“Spending four months without seeing him, I do not know how I could have done it. It was why, I needed to take the bull by the horns.
“I went to see the coach to ask him where he was with Aubameyang. I put him under a bit of pressure, like my agent, who I spoke to several times a day.
“It is normal. I did not want to be deprived of going to Chelsea, which was the best solution for me.
“The coach immediately said to me: ‘Don’t worry, I will do my best so that you are happy’.
“On one side, it was normal. I had never asked to leave. On the other, I knew that he would not cause problems given the relationship we had always had.
“He even said to me that it would p*** him off if I did not go to Russia.”