Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud has opened up on his failed exit from the London club during the January transfer window.
The Frenchman endured a torrid six months in the opening half of the season under Frank Lampard, making only two starts within that period.
He pushed for an exit in January and came close, with Inter Milan his preferred destination, but Chelsea blocked the move as they failed to bring in a replacement despite their ban on signing new players having been lifted.
"Even I saw myself elsewhere to be honest. I went through six complicated months,” Giroud told Telefoot.
“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. 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.
“I knew that anyway I shouldn't start going on strike or wreak havoc in the locker room. First of all, because it is not me and also because I knew there was a good chance that I would stay at Chelsea. That’s why I stayed flawless and professional until the end.
“There were two reactions: either I mope around myself or I fight for my place. That's what I did. And the coach who promised me more opportunities to play kept his word and I took my chance.”
The 33-year-old former Arsenal man is out of contract at the end of the current season but indicated this week that he would be willing to extend his stay at the club.
He has come into the frame in recent matches following Tammy Abraham's injury, which will boost his hopes of making France's Euro 2020 final squad.