Atletico Madrid are weighing up a January swoop for Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud, according to reports.
Atletico agreed to let former Blues frontman Diego Costa depart the Wanda Metropolitano earlier this week.
The Brazil-born Spain international was due to become a free agent in the summer, but Atletico granted his wish to end his contract a few months early.
Costa struggled for game time this term, with Luis Suarez and Joao Felix ahead of him in the pecking order.
However, Diego Simeone is keen to source a replacement for the outgoing 32-year-old, and a report by Rai Sport claims Giroud is one name under consideration.
The Frenchman was consigned to the bench at the start of the season and hinted that he might need to leave Stamford Bridge in January if more game time was not forthcoming.
Giroud has been more involved in recent weeks and is now the club’s leading scorer this season with nine goals in all competitions.
Even so, Atletico believe they have a chance of prising the ex-Arsenal marksman away from west London next month.
Giroud is out of contract next summer and will be free to sign a pre-contract agreement with foreign clubs from January 1 onwards.
And while Frank Lampard will not want to lose the experienced striker in the middle of the season, the Chelsea hierarchy might be open to offers.
A bid from Atletico would therefore test their resolve, with Simeone keen to secure another option up front as his team attempt to continue their challenge for the La Liga title.
Atletico beat Getafe 1-0 on Wednesday night in Simeone’s 500th game in charge of the club.
That victory moved them two points clear of Real Madrid at the top of the table, with Atletico also having two games in hand on their arch-rivals.
Get the best features, fun and footballing frolics straight to your inbox every week.
Thank you for signing up to Four Four Two. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.