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.”
nouveaux joueurs dans la liste de Didier Deschamps pour le rassemblement qui débute lundi ! @TheoHernandez, @atchouameni, @JordanVeretout et @MoussaDiaby_19 #FiersdetreBleus pic.twitter.com/kcIpkhy26d
— Equipe de France (@equipedefrance) August 26, 2021
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).
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