Chelsea forward Olivier Giroud spurned interest from Roma, Sevilla and Borussia Dortmund in order to join the defending Premier League champions and work with Antonio Conte, the France international has confirmed.
Giroud left Arsenal for the Blues on deadline day in a deal worth around £18m ($25.2m) after being advised by France boss Didier Deschamps to leave north London in order to improve his chances of featuring in his squad for the World Cup in Russia.
Despite being restricted to a mere handful of appearances during the first half of the campaign, Giroud attracted interest from a host of top European clubs such as Roma and Dortmund, who eventually signed Michy Batshuayi as a result of the Frenchman's move to west London.
The lure of Italy's capital and North Rhine-Westphalia was not enough for Giroud, whose mind was made up after learning of Conte's desire to bring him to Chelsea.
"A week before the end of the transfer window, I needed to hear his (Deschamps') opinion. He didn't encourage me to join Chelsea. But he encouraged me to change clubs," Giroud told Telefoot, as relayed by the Daily Mail.
"Dortmund were interested but for a loan deal. There was Sevilla and my agent also received a phone call from Roma. But my choice was quite clear and obvious when I knew that Antonio Conte wanted to work with me."
Giroud's switch to Chelsea brought his five-year association with Arsenal to an end. The former Montpellier hitman's role had slowly been transformed into that of a 'super-sub' in north London, and the arrival of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang combined with the presence of summer signing Alexandre Lacazette forced him to seek a new "direction".
He added: "I had wanted to stay at Arsenal to try my luck even when Alex Lacazette arrived. The reality is that the coach (Arsene Wenger) wanted to recruit another central striker.
"When he signed, that made three central strikers and that is why I decided to leave. It was logical to give my career a new direction. There was a bit of disappointment even if I spent five magnificent years there."