?Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri is confident that striker Olivier Giroud will remain at the club next season despite being frustrated by his lack of game time this season.
The 32-year-old netted his tenth Europa League goal of the season in their 4-3 quarter final second leg win over Slavia Prague on Thursday, taking his tally to 12 goals in 39 games across all competitions.
Many of his appearances has come as a substitute, particularity in the ?Premier League, with the likes of Alvaro Morata, Gonzalo Higuain and even ?Eden Hazard preferred to the World Cup winner as a central striker this campaign.
It has led to the Frenchman suggesting ?his future ?could lie away from Stamford Bridge, although Sarri, as quoted by ?the Telegraph, has insisted that ?Giroud will stay in west London.
The Italian said: “He [Giroud] is sure [to stay] because the club has an option for another year, another season. I spoke to the club two days ago and we agreed to exercise the option. So, he will remain.”
The future of Giroud – who has an option for a further year once his current deal expires this summer – could also be dependent on whether ?Chelsea are hit with a two-window transfer ban from FIFA.
If sanctioned by the football’s governing body, that would come into place this summer, meaning the club would be unable to register new players ahead of next season, which could see the former Arsenal man stick around.
Chelsea are currently entangled in a four-way battle to finish in the Premier League’s top four, which would guarantee them a place in next season’s Champions League, although the Blues are fifth on 66 points, having played a game more than Tottenham, Arsenal and Manchester United.
Winning the Europa League will give them a route into Europe’s elite club competition next season, but they will have to get past Eintracht Frankfurt first in order to reach the final.