Frank Lampard says Olivier Giroud is an “important” player at Chelsea and insists he wants the Frenchman to stay at Stamford Bridge.
The Blues boss was responding to Giroud’s transfer ultimatum in which he said his lack of game time is “concerning” and he would assess his options in January.
The striker, 34, has played just 41 minutes in the Premier League this season and his spot in Didier Deschamps’ squad for next summer’s Euros is in jeopardy.
And while Lampard says he will “happily” talk to Giroud about his future, he hopes the former Arsenal man will stay in west London as the fixture list grows ever more hectic.
“I do have plans for Oli, he is very important in our squad,” Lampard said ahead of Chelsea’s clash with Rennes on Tuesday.
“He was very important last year, he played a lot of games and made a lot of starts. He’ll always want to play more but he’s a huge member of the squad for me.
“I know he will be important for us going forward, so I want Oli to be here and to stay.
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“I have a very good relationship with Oli and if ever he felt that it was going to go a different way then I would happily have that conversation with him.
“But I want him to stay here. I’m open both ways if that ever changes but at the moment he is very important for us.”
Chelsea sit top of Champions League Group E with two wins and one draw, and comfortably beat Rennes 3-0 in their last European outing.
Victory over the French club on Tuesday night will see them qualify for the last 16 with two games to spare, while Rennes have lost their last two Ligue 1 games to PSG and Bordeaux.
Manager Julien Stephan said: “Of course we’re not happy with our results. We played poorly against Bordeaux at the weekend, but we are going to improve.
“We are all desperate to find the solution to our problems. If it doesn’t happen tomorrow, it’s OK. Chelsea invested a lot of money in the summer. It’s a fantastic club.”
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