Zlatan Ibrahimovic has been ruled out of Milan's Champions League clash at Liverpool after suffering an injury setback.

The 39-year-old former Manchester United striker made a goalscoring return for Milan as a substitute against Lazio on Sunday, coming on to tap in the second goal in a 2-0 Serie A victory.

That followed a four-month knee injury lay-off, and the Swedish frontman has now reportedly suffered discomfort in an Achilles, forcing him out of plans for Wednesday's Anfield tussle.

That means coach Stefano Pioli will name Ante Rebic or former Arsenal and Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud as his attacking spearhead when he selects his side to face Jurgen Klopp's Reds.

Pioli stated Giroud would not be able to play a full 90 minutes, having returned from a spell on the sidelines after testing positive for COVID-19.

Speaking in a news conference on Tuesday, Pioli said: "Zlatan has had an inflammation; he gave it a go this morning but it's useless to take risks at this point of the season.

"I see AC Milan with Zlatan and I absolutely think we'll have him back soon. Absences are a part of football; I'll need to choose between Ante and Olivier but we have the cover."

Ibrahimovic has abundant Champions League experience, scoring 48 goals in the competition from 120 games, with nine of those coming for Milan between 2010 and 2012 in a previous spell with the Rossoneri.

The Swede has scored for more teams in the Champions League than any other player (six – Paris Saint-Germain, Milan, Ajax, Juventus, Inter Milan, Barcelona).

He arrived from LA Galaxy midway through the 2019-20 season and helped Pioli take Milan into the Champions League for the first time in eight years with last term's second-placed finish in Serie A. 

They last featured in the competition in the 2013-14 campaign, a worrying drought for the club that have won the European Cup or Champions League on seven occasions.

"Our growth over the past year is clear for all to see," Pioli said. "Our experiences have helped us to grow and improve, and the beginning of this season has shown that this team knows how to play and how to approach games.

"The level is higher now; it's what we wanted and it's a chance for us to show that we can mix it with the best."

Milan have won just one of their last 13 games against English opponents in European competition (D4 L8), with that lone victory a 4-0 drubbing of Arsenal at San Siro in the Champions League in February 2012.

Pioli, quoted on Milan's official website, said: "Many of us have never played in the Champions League, but football is football. We know what to do and how to try and play against a really strong side.

"We've prepared really well for this game. There are no easy fixtures in this group; our opponents are all highly competitive and have been playing European football for a while. It's a chance for us to start writing our own history; we have a lot of belief in our own quality."

Milan on Thursday revealed Olivier Giroud has tested positive for coronavirus.

Giroud opened his Milan account with a double in a 4-1 Serie thrashing of Cagliari on Sunday.

The 34-year-old striker has now been forced into isolation after returning a positive COVID-19 test.

"AC Milan announce that Olivier Giroud tested positive for a molecular test carried out at home," the Rossoneri said in a statement.

"The local health authorities were immediately informed. The player is fine but must remain in fiduciary isolation.

"It should be noted that Olivier has not had contact with the rest of the team since the championship game against Cagliari."

Giroud joined Milan in a reported €2million (£1.7m) deal from Chelsea in July.

Stefano Pioli is open to fielding Olivier Giroud alongside Zlatan Ibrahimovic this season after the Frenchman opened his Milan account with two goals against Cagliari.

Giroud curled in a delightful first-time shot to get off the mark on his San Siro bow and doubled his tally from the penalty spot in Sunday's Serie A clash as Milan ran out 4-1 winners.

With that first-half double, Giroud became the first player to score multiple times in his first home league match for the Rossoneri since Mario Balotelli in February 2013.

Ibrahimovic has been Milan's go-to man up top when fit since returning to the Italian club in January 2020, but the veteran striker is currently sidelined with a knee injury sustained in May.

Pioli hopes to have Ibrahimovic back after the international break in two weeks' time, however, and he is not against tweaking formation to pair the Swede with Giroud in attack.

"I am very open to all situations," Milan head coach Pioli told DAZN. "I'll take it one game at a time to pick the best line-up for that match. 

"When we have the need for two strikers, I will not hesitate to use them together. I just hope to have everyone back to full fitness."

 

Ibrahimovic watched from the stands as Giroud added to goals from Sandro Tonali and Rafael Leao, which came either side of Alessandro Deiola's temporary equaliser in the first half.

Milan scored four-plus goals in the opening half of a Serie A fixture for the first time since November 2011.

Asked if he is looking forward to linking up with former Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester United striker Ibrahimovic, Giroud said: "He is a great champion and very important in the locker room. 

"We want to play together, but I am happy playing with any of my team-mates. It doesn't matter who plays, it's important to respect the decisions of the coach."

It was the first time Giroud has scored a league brace since April 2018, for Chelsea against Southampton, and the 34-year-old revelled in the manner his home debut turned out.

"I'm very proud to play for Milan and in a stadium like San Siro," he told DAZN. "I'm happy with the team performance because we started the game playing our style of football. 

"We really connected on the pitch and could've scored more, while the support from the fans was incredible."

Giroud has inherited the number nine shirt at Milan, which is one of the most iconic jerseys in football but has more recently become a poisoned chalice of sorts.

Mario Mandzukic, Krzysztof Piatek and Gonzalo Higuain have all failed to live up to its reputation, yet Giroud is unfazed by the weight of expectation.

"I heard there was something special about the number nine shirt, but I am not superstitious," he said. "I believe in myself and my abilities. 

"As a kid, I watched Marco van Basten, Jean-Pierre Papin and Filippo Inzaghi wear this shirt, so it makes me happy to be here now."

Milan have won their opening two Serie A games this season, just like they did last time out, but face a tough run of games upon their return to action next month.

The Rossoneri meet a Lazio side sitting top of the division on goal difference and rivals Juventus in their next two league matches, either side of kicking off their Champions League return with a trip to Liverpool.

"We've got a remarkable run of games coming up after the break, so we need to keep this mentality and enthusiasm," Pioli said.

"If we really want a positive future, we must treat everyone as first-choice players. We're missing some at the moment, a couple more might arrive, but we must train the way we want to play and play the way we train.

"We are getting used to playing entertaining football and enjoying ourselves, but we must also remember that the great teams are also capable of winning ugly."

Olivier Giroud scored his first two goals for Milan to help his side maintain their winning start to the Serie A campaign with a convincing 4-1 victory against Genoa at San Siro on Sunday.

The Rossoneri were made to work hard for last week's 1-0 win over Sampdoria but proved far too strong for Genoa as they put on a show for their returning supporters, scoring all four goals in the first half.

Alessandro Deiola netted Genoa's first goal in six league games versus Milan to cancel out Sandro Tonali's opener, but Rafael Leao's heavily deflected strike and Giroud's double gave the hosts breathing space at the midway point.

Milan were happy to keep hold of possession from that point on as they cruised to a seventh league game without defeat stretching into last season.

Tonali lifted the ball over the Genoa wall and just out of back-up goalkeeper Boris Radunovic's reach to get Milan up and running inside 12 minutes with just his second Serie A goal.

Stefano Pioli's side were pegged back soon after through a Deiola header after the midfielder was picked out by a smart Joao Pedro pass – the first goal Milan had conceded in seven league matches.

But Leao restored his side's advantage in rather fortuitous circumstances as his shot took a big touch off the back of Brahim Diaz – Milan's match-winner last weekend – and flew past Radunovic.

Giroud's first Milan goal followed seven minutes later, the Frenchman curling a first-time shot into the far-left corner when played in by Diaz, and he had a second before half-time when converting a penalty awarded for a Kevin Strootman handball.

Milan then went through the motions and did not register a single attempt on target in the second period, with Charalampos Lykogiannis going closest to scoring for the visitors when testing Mike Maignan 10 minutes from time.

Olivier Giroud was dropped by France boss Didier Deschamps on Thursday in a move that casts early doubt on the striker's World Cup prospects.

The decision to omit France's second highest goalscorer of all time was taken by Deschamps ahead of the three World Cup qualifiers that await Les Bleus in early September.

Giroud, who turns 35 at the end of next month, has scored seven times for his country in the past 12 months but did not find the net at Euro 2020.

Pre-tournament comments, which were interpreted as Giroud criticising Kylian Mbappe, saw the veteran forward complain of a lack of service.

Mbappe was disappointed with those remarks, particularly with Giroud making them in public rather than in the dressing room, and it remains to be seen whether they have played their last game together at international level.

Les Bleus were favourites going into Euro 2020 but went on to lose on penalties to Switzerland in the second round, and now they must focus on qualifying for the World Cup, as holders.

They face Bosnia-Herzegovina, Ukraine and Finland in the first seven days of September.

Speaking about Giroud, who has swapped Chelsea for Milan since last season, Deschamps said: "It's my choice today. It's up to Olivier to perform, he's still available.

"His situation has changed with his transfer to Milan, where he's found a lot more game time."

Giroud insisted during the European Championship that he intended to play on for France beyond the tournament.

"I'm not finished, far from it. Count on me, grandpa is not dead!" Giroud, who was one of the key members of France's World Cup-winning squad in 2018, told Le Figaro.

"I'm almost 35 but have the hunger of a 20-year-old guy. I know how to do it with the team."

Deschamps handed first call-ups on Thursday to Giroud's Milan team-mate, left-back Theo Hernandez, Monaco midfielder Aurelien Tchouameni and Roma playmaker Jordan Veretout, along with Bayer Leverkusen winger Moussa Diaby.

He also recalled Manchester United forward Anthony Martial, who has been involved in both Premier League games for the Red Devils this season after overcoming a long-term injury, and Bayern Munich defender Dayot Upamecano.

France squad: Hugo Lloris (Tottenham), Mike Maignan (Milan), Steve Mandanda (Marseille); Lucas Digne (Everton), Leo Dubois (Lyon), Presnel Kimpembe (Paris Saint-Germain), Jules Kounde (Sevilla), Dayot Upamecano (Bayern Munich), Raphael Varane (Manchester United), Theo Hernandez (Milan), Kurt Zouma (Chelsea); N'Golo Kante (Chelsea), Paul Pogba (Manchester United), Aurelien Tchouameni (Monaco), Corentin Tolisso (Bayern Munich), Jordan Veretout (Roma); Karim Benzema (Real Madrid), Kingsley Coman (Bayern Munich), Moussa Diaby (Bayer Leverkusen), Antoine Griezmann (Barcelona), Thomas Lemar (Atletico Madrid), Anthony Martial (Manchester United), Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain).

Olivier Giroud is excited to start a new chapter in his career in Serie A and says "God wanted me to play for Milan".

The 34-year-old joined the Rossoneri in a reported €2million (£1.7m) deal on July 17, bringing an end to his nine-year stay in the Premier League with Arsenal and more recently Chelsea.

Giroud is looking forward to adding to his trophy collection during his time in Italy having won Ligue 1 with Montpellier before lifting the FA Cup four times tasting glory in the Champions League and Europa League during his time in England.

"I won many trophies at every club I've been at and would like to do the same here," he said at his official unveiling on Monday. 

"I do have an objective in my mind during my time here, but I don't want to reveal it, otherwise there will be too much pressure. Let's just say my final objective is to win with Milan."

Giroud is thought to have signed a two-year deal with Milan and is following in the steps of legendary figures such as Gunnar Nordahl, Filippo Inzaghi and Andriy Shevchenko.

And the France international leaned on one of those iconic figures before putting pen to paper with the Italian giants.

"The time had come to leave Chelsea and discover a new league. God wanted me to play for Milan," he said. 

"This is one of the biggest clubs in the world and I really believe in the project here. We've got what it takes to have a very good Champions League campaign.

"When I was young, I watched Milan games with Shevchenko and he later became a dear friend who I asked for advice.

"It's an honour for me to be at a club where so many great stars have played and it was emotional talking to [director] Paolo Maldini, too.

"I want to give my contribution, be a big brother to the players and bring my experience. I hope also to be remembered as a good person and not just a great player."

 

Giroud found starts hard to come by at Chelsea following Thomas Tuchel's arrival in late January, though he did make his mark felt in his final campaign at Stamford Bridge.

The World Cup winner netted five times in Chelsea's Champions League-winning campaign, four of those goals coming in the Blues' 4-0 victory at Sevilla in the group stage.

That made him the oldest player (34 years, 63 days) to score a hat-trick in the Champions League/European Cup since Ferenc Puskas (38y, 173d) for Real Madrid in 1965.

He arrives at Milan as a European champion and has inherited the number nine shirt, which is one of the most iconic jerseys in football but has more recently become a poisoned chalice of sorts.

Mario Mandzukic, Krzysztof Piatek and Gonzalo Higuain have all failed to live up to its reputation in recent years, yet Giroud is unfazed by the weight of expectation.

"I am not superstitious. A shirt number cannot change the way I play," he said.

"Strikers like Inzaghi, Marco van Basten and Jean-Pierre Papin wore this shirt for Milan, but I don't feel the pressure."

Giroud will link up with another Milan great this coming season in Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who has 25 goals in 37 Serie A appearances since returning to San Siro in January 2020.

Grenoble product Giroud will turn 35 next month but is inspired by 39-year-old Ibrahimovic to continue playing at the top for as long as possible.

"My age means nothing," he said. "Zlatan is a few years older than me, but it's all about your mentality. With the right motivation, you can still push hard."

Giroud scored with his first touch as a Milan player in Saturday's 1-1 draw with Nice. Stefano Pioli's men face Valencia in their next pre-season outing on Wednesday.

The possibility of moving to Milan brought childhood memories rushing back to Olivier Giroud. 

The Frenchman made official his departure from Chelsea for a reported two-year deal with the Serie A giants on Saturday. 

Now the veteran striker has designs on winning trophies with the Rossoneri himself. 

“I still feel like a little kid, 35 -- or almost 35 -- years old,” Giroud told Milan TV. “When I was young, I looked up to Jean-Pierre Papin, Andriy Shevchenko and obviously Paolo [Maldini].

“This team made me dream. I was also a big fan of Marco van Basten. So many great players have played in this massive club in Europe.

“Milan have a massive history in Europe and that’s why I wanted to join the club.

"Also to play in the best competition in Europe, in the Champions League, and I hope we can achieve great things with the team."

Milan will return to the Champions League this season for the first time since 2013-14. 

Only Real Madrid (13) have won more European titles than Milan's seven, but the Rossoneri have not triumphed in the competition since 2007. 

After winning the Champions League and the Europa League with Chelsea over a three-year span, Giroud wants to have the same type of experience in Milan. 

“I feel blessed that I had the opportunity to win trophies, playing for big clubs,” Giroud said.

“I think Milan is a club that deserves to play at the highest level." 

Beyond helping the team return to glory, Giroud is especially excited to play alongside Zlatan Ibrahimovic. 

“I think he’s an example for the youngsters, he’s one of the best strikers in Serie A and I’m looking forward to playing alongside him," Giroud said. "I think we will have fun!”

“I just want to win something with Milan, and with Zlatan it’s even better, you know.”

Olivier Giroud has joined Milan in a reported €2million (£1.7m) deal from Chelsea.

Giroud has signed a contract with the Rossoneri – said to be for two years – after they met the modest release clause in his contract.

Chelsea triggered a one-year extension for Giroud last season, which meant a free transfer was not possible, but there were otherwise few obstacles to block the move.

While Giroud was rarely a first-choice option at Chelsea following his arrival from Arsenal in January 2018. He found starts particularly hard to come by following the appointment of Thomas Tuchel.

After the German replaced Frank Lampard in late January, Giroud made only three Premier League starts, none of which came after February 28.

Previously, under Lampard, Giroud had taken on a fairly important role after the three-month coronavirus-enforced pause, scoring six goals in seven starts.

The signings of Timo Werner and Kai Havertz restricted Giroud from building on that form at the start of 2020-21 – he did not score a Premier League goal until December, though he did net five times in the Champions League group stage.

That included a remarkable four-goal haul in Chelsea's 4-0 win away to Sevilla, which made him the oldest player (34 years, 63 days) to score a hat-trick in the Champions League/European Cup since Ferenc Puskas (38y, 173d) for Real Madrid in 1965.

Although Giroud did not feature for Chelsea in their Champions League semi-final nor final matches, he did get a medal in the competition and heads to Milan as a European champion.

Giroud will hope he enjoys a resurgence similar to his new team-mate Zlatan Ibrahimovic in Milan, with the Swede scoring 15 goals in just 19 appearances last term before sustaining an injury.

The French World Cup winner is the second player to swap Stamford Bridge for San Siro this year, following Fikayo Tomori to Serie A after his loan move was made permanent.

On top of Giroud, Milan are close to two other incomings, with Brahim Diaz – who spent last season at San Siro on loan from Real Madrid – set to rejoin on a two-year deal from Los Blancos, with an option to buy.

Monaco left-back Fode Ballo-Toure, meanwhile, is also set to sign.

Milan director Paolo Maldini has confirmed Olivier Giroud is close to joining the Serie A side from Chelsea.

The France international has spent the past three and a half years at Stamford Bridge and recently had a 12-month extension in his contract triggered by the Blues.

Giroud was restricted to just 12 starts in all competitions last season, yet he still finished as Chelsea's top scorer in their Champions League-winning campaign with six goals, and only Timo Werner and Tammy Abraham (both 12) scored more goals across all competitions.

Milan are reported to have agreed a €3million (£2.56m) fee with Chelsea, offering Giroud, who represented France at Euro 2020, a two-year deal.

"Olivier should arrive tomorrow," Maldini told DAZN on Wednesday. "Olivier is a champion. He's done great things with France and Chelsea.

"He is a very reliable player and that's what we are looking for, as we have the youngest squad in Serie A, so we need some with more experience."

Giroud will become the second player to make the switch from Milan to Chelsea this window after the Italian giants took up the option to make Fikayo Tomori's loan deal permanent.

The 34-year-old is expected to lead the line for Stefano Pioli's side in the absence of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who is recovering from a knee injury which ruled him out of Euro 2020.

Goalkeeper Mike Maignan has also joined from Ligue 1 champions Lille as a replacement for Gianluigi Donnarumma, who has signed for Paris Saint-Germain.

After spending last season on loan at Milan, Sandro Tonali also arrived on a permanent deal from Brescia earlier this month.

The Rossoneri did lose playmaker Hakan Calhanoglu to rivals Inter, though they are reportedly close to striking a deal with CSKA Moscow for Croatia international Nikola Vlasic, while Everton's James Rodriguez has also been linked.

Milan finished as runners-up in Serie A and will begin the new campaign away at Sampdoria on the week ending August 22.

Erling Haaland's future is a major talking point this off-season.

The Norwegian has been linked with several top clubs but could also stay with Borussia Dortmund.

Haaland and his representatives visited Real Madrid and Barcelona, while Chelsea and Manchester City have also been credited with interest.

TOP STORY - CHELSEA TO OFFER UP TO £150M FOR HAALAND

Chelsea are readying a bumper £150 million (€175m) move to sign Erling Haaland from Borussia Dortmund, reports 90Min.

The Blues are prepared to offer up to that amount, believing the deal will be too hard to refuse for Dortmund.

Chelsea spent approximately £120m (€140m) last off-season on German pair Timo Werner and Kai Havertz but want an out-and-out striker.

 

ROUND-UP

- New Real Madrid head coach Carlo Ancelotti wants to sign Brazil international Richarlison from his former club Everton, reports ESPN.

- Fabrizio Romano claims Milan are still working on a deal to sign Chelsea's French veteran forward Olivier Giroud.

- RB Leipzig's Marcel Sabitzer is in the sights of Borussia Dortmund according to Bild, amid reported interest from Premier League clubs.

West Ham and Tottenham are both interested in Sassuolo's Mert Muldur reports the Mail.

- Football League World claims Southampton will sign Blackburn Rovers forward Adam Armstrong for £10m plus add-ons.

Olivier Giroud has insisted he has no intention of calling time on his France career after Euro 2020 and says he still has "the hunger of a 20-year-old".

The Chelsea striker, who turns 35 in September, has fallen down Les Blues' pecking order following Karim Benzema's shock return to the national team last month after a near six-year exile.

He was an unused substitute in France's 1-0 win over Germany in their Group F opener and played the final 14 minutes in Saturday's 1-1 draw with Hungary.

Giroud has previously suggested Euro 2020 will be his final campaign with France, but he has now declared that he has plenty more to give to his national side.

"I'm not finished, far from it. Count on me, grandpa is not dead!" Giroud, who was one of the key members of France's World Cup-winning squad in 2018, told Le Figaro.

"I'm almost 35 but have the hunger of a 20-year-old guy. I know how to do it with the team.

"The France team has a fairly incredible strike force, but I have a card to play because there are no other players with my profile. I am here to respond and bring what I want.

"I have the desire and, if the young people want to move me, they will have to be ready too."

Giroud's appearance against Hungary was his 100th in a France shirt while playing under Didier Deschamps.

No other player for Les Bleus has ever recorded a century of senior international appearances with the same man in charge.

The closest players to Giroud's tally under Deschamps are Antoine Griezmann (93 appearances), Hugo Lloris (90), Paul Pogba (82) and Blaise Matuidi (80).

He has won 109 caps in total for France and has 46 goals to his name, leaving him second in the nation's all-time top scorers list and just five short of Thierry Henry's record.

Chelsea confirmed earlier this month they have activated a 12-month extension in Giroud's contract, but he continues to be linked with Serie A giants Milan.

Olivier Giroud has made history by winning 100 caps for France while playing under coach Didier Deschamps.

No other player for Les Bleus has ever recorded a century of senior international appearances with the same man in charge.

The Chelsea striker, who made his France debut back in November 2011, won his first eight caps under Laurent Blanc, who resigned following the Euro 2012 finals.

Deschamps took over in July 2012 and has since made Giroud a mainstay of his plans. The 34-year-old's 100th game under the former midfielder came in Saturday's Euro 2020 clash with Hungary.

The closest players to Giroud's tally under Deschamps are Antoine Griezmann (93 appearances), Hugo Lloris (90), Paul Pogba (82) and Blaise Matuidi (80).

 

Giroud scored 45 goals in his first 99 games under Deschamps, including nine in 16 European Championship matches, taking qualifiers into account.

He netted just once in 12 World Cup finals games, although he played in every single game of France's triumph at the 2018 tournament in Russia.

Giroud's first goal of the Deschamps era came against Spain in a World Cup qualifier in October 2012, while his one hat-trick was scored in a friendly with Paraguay in June 2017.

The former Arsenal forward, who scored once in Blanc's time at the helm, needs only five more goals to match Thierry Henry's all-time France record of 51.

 

Is Erling Haaland's future close to being resolved?

Borussia Dortmund, up until now, have been unwilling to part with their top asset.

But Chelsea are reportedly making progress to bring Haaland to London.

 

TOP STORY – CHELSEA CLOSING IN ON HAALAND?

Chelsea have agreed personal terms with Erling Haaland and now just need to agree a fee with Borussia Dortmund, according to the Transfer Window Podcast.

Haaland is a player in demand, linked with Chelsea, Manchester City, Real Madrid, Manchester United, Barcelona, Liverpool, Paris Saint-Germain, Bayern Munich and Juventus.

But Chelsea have reportedly made a breakthrough in their pursuit to prise the Norway forward to Stamford Bridge.

 

ROUND-UP

- Sport claims Madrid are targeting Inter star Nicolo Barella or Sassuolo's Manuel Locatelli. Leeds United midfielder Kalvin Phillips has also been linked. Locatelli is attracting interest this off-season, with Juventus, Arsenal, Inter, Dortmund and City reported admirers.

Arsenal are chasing Leicester City's James Maddison, according to Chris Wheatley. Chelsea and Liverpool are believed to be also tracking the England international.

- Eurosport reports Real Sociedad winger Mikel Oyarzabal is on City's radar. Pep Guardiola's side could make a move if Bernardo Silva – linked with Barcelona and Atletico Madrid – or Raheem Sterling leave.

Atletico are set to sign Rodrigo De Paul from Udinese, says Fabrizio Romano. The Argentina international has been wanted by Liverpool, Juve and Leeds United.

Milan are looking to sign Stuttgart forward Sasa Kalajdzic, according to Calciomercato. Chelsea's Olivier Giroud, Torino star Andrea Belotti and Madrid outcast Luka Jokic have also been linked.

- Bild claims Bayern would be willing to sell Kingsley Coman for the right price amid interest from United and Liverpool. The Bundesliga champions are also considering the futures of Niklas Sule and Corentin Tolisso.

Kylian Mbappe needed clear-the-air talks with Olivier Giroud, but their argument is now in the past, according to France captain Hugo Lloris.

Les Bleus' preparations for Euro 2020 have been overshadowed by an apparent spat between two of their forwards, which stems from the friendly win over Bulgaria last week.

Giroud indicated he was unhappy with some of the service he received in the 3-0 victory, comments that were perceived to be aimed specifically at Mbappe, who exchanged passes with the Chelsea forward just three times in 43 minutes.

The Paris Saint-Germain star admitted last weekend that he had been "a little affected" by Giroud's remarks, while coach Didier Deschamps held a discussion with both players.

Lloris said Mbappe felt the need to speak his mind, but insisted the problem was overblown.

"It made more noise outside than inside," he said on Monday ahead of France's Euro 2020 opener with Germany. "The two explained things the next day.

"There were some small differences, but these things happen. It didn't affect the group. Kylian needed to speak out. It's behind us now."

Giroud is expected to start on the bench in Munich, with Deschamps more likely to keep faith with the front three of Mbappe, Karim Benzema and Antoine Griezmann, who all started against Bulgaria.

Lloris thinks the thought of facing such an attack is likely to give the Germany defenders some sleepless nights, even if France's collective performance will be more important.

"They are players of a very high level, who have been regulars for many years," he said.

"Mbappe is younger than Benzema and Griezmann, but he has already done great things.

"I understand there is some fear among our opponents, but if we want to achieve a big result, we'll need to have great collective strength and be well balanced on the pitch."

Lloris also praised the actions of Denmark and Finland players and fans during Saturday's match in Copenhagen, in which Christian Eriksen collapsed on the pitch and required emergency treatment before being taken to hospital.

The midfielder, a former Tottenham team-mate of Lloris, was confirmed by Denmark's doctor as having suffered cardiac arrest. He was said to be awake and stable in hospital and issued a statement on Monday to thank those who looked after him.

"We learned about him after training," Lloris said. "There was a lot of concern and stress, but we were quickly assured of his condition.

"These are pictures you don't want to see on the pitch. I want to highlight the personality of the Danish and Finnish players and the supporters. They were able to handle the incident with dignity and solidarity.

"What happened affected the world of football. The most important thing is that Christian is in good condition."

Didier Deschamps has confirmed he held talks with Kylian Mbappe and Olivier Giroud following their recent dispute.

Giroud caused a stir after scoring a double in Les Blues' 3-0 friendly win over Bulgaria last Tuesday when appearing to suggest some irritation at a lack of service.

He did not mention any player by name, but the comments were perceived to be aimed at strike partner Mbappe, who failed to pick out the Chelsea forward on several occasions.

There were only three passes between the pair during their 43 minutes together on the field.

Paris Saint-Germain forward Mbappe had the opportunity to respond at a news conference on Sunday and admitted to being "a little affected" by Giroud's remarks.

However, Deschamps has insisted the incident was soon put to bed and France are now fully focused on their Euro 2020 opener against Germany at the Allianz Arena on Tuesday.

"I spoke to them, in the same way I have spoken to other players," he told L'Equipe. 

"When I feel I have to do it for certain reasons, I do it. Dialogue is a part of management, but listening is also good. 

"These players at a very high level are easier to manage than those at a lower level. Yes, they have pride, but also ego – though I'm not sure if it's ego.

"They are competitors and a balance has to be found. We need room in the team for everyone."

Asked about the affect the exchange of words has had on the France camp, Deschamps said: "Everyone got back in the saddle on Thursday.

"We are all working in the same direction with the same objective. It is also a question of generations, with different interests. Don't forget we spend 24 hours together.

"On the pitch, they all wear the same jersey and I know they will all make the same effort as the others."

Mbappe was reportedly blocked from speaking at a news conference last week, with Paul Pogba instead put up to speak to the press, but Deschamps denied that was the case.

"To be clear, I was not opposed to that," he said. "Pogba offered to go and I validated. It's a reality, it happens.

"Honestly, internally, I cannot talk about tensions because that is not the case."

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