Date: 5th February 2018 at 9:00pm
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Stoke City striker Peter Crouch says he is aware that Chelsea manager Antonio Conte is an admirer of his, but he was quick to emphasise that there was never any “strong” interest in signing him.

Writing in his column for the Daily Mail, the former England international backed the Blues’ decision to sign Olivier Giroud, and he believes the Frenchman will be perfect for how Conte wants to play:

“There was never any strong interest. I heard Antonio Conte quite likes me as a player but I was only ever concentrating on Stoke. I didn’t expect anything to happen and, as it turns out, Chelsea have gone on to make a great signing.”

Crouch goes on to mention that Conte is seeking to use Giroud in a very similar way to how he utilised Graziano Pelle when he was Italy manager.

A target man centre forward was one of Chelsea’s most important priorities in January. As well as Crouch, the Blues were heavily linked with West Ham’s Andy Carroll, Roma’s Edin Dzeko, and even Burnley’s Ashley Barnes, with Giroud being the one the club finally signed.

The France international told French TV station Telefoot at the weekend that he was persuaded by national manager Didier Deschamps to sign for Chelsea.

The former Blues midfielder encouraged the switch to Stamford Bridge as he wants the striker to get more game time before the World Cup.