Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud has admitted he rejected the chance to join Lyon in January because of Karim Benzema.
The pair have a troubled relationship after Giroud excelled for France in Benzema’s absence.
The Real Madrid star has not featured for his country since becoming embroiled in a blackmail scheme over a sex-tape in 2015.
Earlier this year, Benzema refused to make comparisons with Giroud because he claimed it would be like comparing an F1 car with a go-cart.
When it came likely Giroud would leave Chelsea in January, Lyon was linked with heavily the former Arsenal man.
But writing in his upcoming autobiography – due out on September 10 – the 32-year-old admitted Benzema’s connection with the club swayed him to reject the move.
In an excerpt from Le Progres, Giroud said: “Unfortunately it’s the cruel truth. I have to come to terms with that. Afterwards in football I could have taken it on without any problem.
“But I did not want to run the slightest risk for my family or to train inconvenience outside of football compared to that, when I saw how some were reacting.”