Chelsea make Giroud transfer U-turn but face breaking policy to keep striker

Chelsea have opened talks with Olivier Giroud over extending his stay at Stamford Bridge.

The France striker barely appeared for the Blues in the first half of the season, falling behind both Tammy Abraham and Michy Batshuayi in the pecking order under Frank Lampard.

Inter Milan sought to take the World Cup winner to Italy during the January transfer window and had agreed terms over a reunion with Antonio Conte.

But Chelsea refused to part with the veteran striker after failing to land a replacement.

Yet, he had still appeared set to leave for nothing in the summer.

However, amid an injury to Abraham and Batshuayi’s struggled to convince as a starter, Giroud was promptly pushed into the starting lineup, as Lampard praised his professionalism.

He scored against Jose Mourinho's Tottenham in February and also bagged against Carlo Ancelotti's Everton in the final game before the break.

Giroud also proved instrumental in the FA Cup win over Liverpool that booked a quarter-final place.

After that match Giroud admitted he is keen to remain at Stamford Bridge – while insisting he feels he has another two-or-three years left at the top level.

"Yes," he said when quizzed on wanting to stay at Chelsea. "Yes. yeah, yeah, yeah, of course. And, you know, I think I have two-three nice seasons in front of me.

"It's not the time to talk about contracts everything. But I will take a decision when it comes.

“I’m a Chelsea player, I'm happy here again and that's the most important thing."

Giroud’s deal expires on June 30 – but is set to be extended temporarily amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

But the player’s representatives have entered preliminary talks with the club over a new deal.

Chelsea transfer negotiations are led by director Marina Granovskaia, who has long overseen a policy of one-year extensions for players in their 30s – unless their are exceptional circumstances.

But that may not be enough to tempt Giroud to remain, having agreed a two-and-a-half year deal with Inter in January and with a similar offer from the Italians available when he's a free agent.

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