Olivier Giroud completes free transfer to LAFC in MLS

France striker Olivier Giroud has completed his long-anticipated move to LAFC, the club announced on Tuesday, with the World Cup winner joining in mid-July with a contract until December 2025.

Giroud, 37, joins his captain from that triumphant 2018 World Cup campaign Hugo Lloris, who joined LAFC ahead of the MLS season. Giroud confirmed Monday that he would leave AC Milan for a Major League Soccer club.

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LAFC general manager John Thorrington said the club has been eager to add Giroud since last fall, and it attempted to land his services in the January transfer window. The 2022 MLS Cup champions and 2023 runners-up then decided to wait for Giroud to become available this summer, rather than signing another offensive star for the current season.

“The way he fits really complements our attacking group,” Thorrington said on Tuesday. “We do have some incredible attackers already here, but I think he will elevate us, not just with his own productivity, but I think what you see with his ability is he’s not just a pure goal-scorer. He is very good at facilitating play, and that’s what we saw, which is so compelling.”

Sources told ESPN on Tuesday that Giroud’s contract will see him listed as a designated player and he will earn around €3 million ($3.2m) a year.

Giroud, France’s all-time record goalscorer, joins LAFC after spending three years at AC Milan, winning the title in 2022. He remained a more than valuable squad member for the team this season, scoring 13 goals and providing eight assists in 30 Serie A appearances.

“My career will continue in the MLS. I’m very proud of everything I’ve done here at Milan across three seasons… My story with Milan ends this year, but Milan will forever remain in my heart,” an emotional Giroud said on May 13, two matches before the end of the Serie A season.

He will join up with LAFC at the end of this summer’s European Championship in Germany, where France are considered one of the favourites.

Sources told ESPN that Giroud was courted by clubs in Saudi Arabia and Europe before settling on LAFC as his next team. He scored 90 goals in 250 Premier League games for Arsenal and Chelsea, and played a key role in Montpellier‘s surprise Ligue 1 title win in 2012.

He was part of Chelsea’s Champions League-winning team of 2021 and lifted three FA Cups during his time in England.

LAFC has reached the MLS Cup in the past two seasons, defeating the Philadelphia Union in the final in 2022 before losing to the Columbus Crew in 2023.

After nine games of this season, LAFC is in seventh place in the Western Conference with a 3-3-3 record. Giroud will bolster an attack that also includes 2023 MLS golden boot winner Dénis Bouanga.

It’s unclear exactly when Giroud will debut for LAFC, given his international commitments and the need to pace his recovery after a full season at Milan.

Defender Giorgio Chiellini didn’t make his LAFC debut until mid-July after signing with the club in May 2022 following a full season at Juventus.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.