Chelsea have reportedly taken up their option to extend Olivier Giroud’s contract by another 12 months.
Under Maurizio Sarri this season, Giroud has mainly served as a back-up option to lead Chelsea’s frontline in favour of Juventus loanee Gonzalo Higuain.
In fact, the Italian even chose to play winger Eden Hazard as a centre-forward rather than pick Giroud during the first half of the season.
The French striker only made seven starts in the Premier League, with the majority of his game time coming in the Europa League.
Nonetheless, Giroud has managed to impress and recently became the first Chelsea player to score 10 goals in a single European campaign during their 4-3 win over Slavia Prague in the Europa League quarter-finals.
Therefore, the former Arsenal star has been linked with a summer return to France at either Lyon or Marseille.
But French television network Telefoot has claimed that Chelsea have triggered their one-year extension clause on Giroud’s contract.
Now the France international is tied down at Stamford Bridge until next year as his original deal would have expired in June.
Naturally, the importance of keeping a proven Premier League performer in Giroud has never been more vital for Chelsea given their two-transfer window ban by FIFA in light of breaching rules over signing minors.
The Blues are currently attempting to suspend the sentence and have taken their case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) after FIFA rejected their appeal.
Furthermore, Sarri’s side seem almost certain to lose star player Eden Hazard to Real Madrid in the summer for a reported €112m deal. Higuain’s future also remains doubtful as the club debate on whether to sign him either permanently or on another loan deal.
However, they will also have to assure Giroud of his role in the team next season given the recent warning he fired at them.
“Next year I will need to have a more important role to play,” Giroud said last month.
“The most important thing for me is to be happy on the pitch, to enjoy the game and to have more minutes.
“I’m a competitor. I really want to play more. The thing is, I just want to enjoy it, because I’m 32 and I’ve won the World Cup, but I want to retire satisfied.”
Giroud has managed 12 goals and eight assists in 44 appearances across all competitions this season.
Chelsea will be back in action on May 29 for the Europa League final against Arsenal in Baku.