By 90Min
April 08, 2019

Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri is keen to keep Olivier Giroud in west London next season, and has revealed the player's own desire to stay beyond the end of the campaign. 

The Blues signed Giroud back in January 2018, since which he has gone on to collect 16 goals and 10 assists in 54 appearances. However, the Frenchman has struggled to attain minutes under Sarri this term, leading to several links with a return to Ligue 1 with Lyon or Marseille. 

Though his contract expires this June, the club have the option to extend this deal by a further 12 months, something which the Italian tactician has revealed the club are all but set to do.

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When asked whether he wanted to keep Giroud, as quoted by the Daily Mail, Sarri said: "Yes, of course.

"I know the club have an option for another season, so I think he will remain. Do I get the impression he wants to stay? I think so."

If true, this represents a dramatic U-turn in the 31-year-old's wishes for the future. Back in January, while the club were being extensively linked with Gonzalo Higuain, who they would eventually sign, Giroud seemed to have one foot out of the door.

Even without Higuain's presence, the World Cup winner was still struggling to start, with Eden Hazard favoured by Sarri in a false nine role. At the time, the forward lamented: "The coach makes Hazard play nine which is detrimental to strikers. But he is the best player I've ever played with.

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"If the club decides to get another striker, like Higuain, it will certainly darken my future at Chelsea. I've never said no to a return to France. Lyon and Marseille are two great clubs. My priority is to stay in the Premier League though."

Now, according to Sarri, that Premier League stay looks to be the likelier option. It's just a little closer to home than he may have thought.

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