CHELSEA director Marina Granovskaia reportedly convinced Olivier Giroud to stay at the club because of her close friendship with his wife Jennifer.
The 33-year-old was pushing for an exit away from Stamford Bridge in January as he was playing second fiddle to Tammy Abraham.
But the Blues blocked the French international from leaving, with the striker insisting that Inter MIlan, Lazio and Tottenham were all keen to sign him.
Giroud has stated that he did everything in his power to leave the West London outfit, as he said: “Even I saw myself elsewhere to be honest.
“I went through six complicated months. That’s why I tried to leave in January.
“I did everything [to leave]. In the end, with the circumstances, Chelsea did not want to let me go. The crucial condition for my departure was to have a replacement.
“The most interesting club for me was Inter Milan. The problem is that it dragged on.
“In the end, and even if Lazio were there towards the end and Tottenham too, it was no longer a question of where I was going to leave but could I leave. There was nothing to do. I was stuck.”
And now it has been revealed that Granovskaia played a key role in the former Arsenal man staying at the club.
Speaking on the Byline Podcast, journalist Christian Falk said: “Marina was the one who stopped Giroud leaving in the winter as she was really close to his wife.”
And the decision to keep Giroud at Chelsea has proven to be instrumental, with the player scoring six times since the restart of football.
Five of his goals have come in the Premier League, while he also fired in the opener against Manchester United in the FA Cup semi-final.