Chelsea forward Olivier Giroud is hoping the London side trigger his one-year contract extension. The France striker’s deal at Stamford Bridge expires at the end of the season but the club have an option for a further season. And Giroud, 32, will now wait before listening to lucrative pre-contract offers to leave the club after 18 months. The World Cup winner has been free to talk to other clubs since January but it is understood his focus has been on earning another year at Chelsea.
He has scored six goals this season but has been limited to six Premier League starts, with Gonzalo Higuain drafted in by Maurizio Sarri in January to add to competition in attack. Most of Giroud’s opportunities have come in the Europa League and he scored in the 2-1 win over Malmo on Thursday. But he is still expected to attract offers should Chelsea decide to release the ex-Arsenal star. Clubs in China have shown interest in taking him to the Far East for a mega-money final big contract in his career.
He has also refused to rule out finishing his career back in France and his situation has been tracked by Lyon and Marseilles. Montpellier gave him his breakthrough nine years ago before he was picked up by Arsene Wenger, after learning his trade as a youngster with Grenoble and Tours in the second tier in his homeland.
Meanwhile, Chelsea are reportedly confident of negotiating a bargain fee with Juventus for Gonzalo Higuain. ESPN claims Blues chiefs are hopeful of landing the Argentine permanently for a great deal less than the £31.5million agreed last month. Chelsea handed over a whopping £8m just to take Higuain on loan until the summer, with negotiations complicated by the fact he was midway through a temporary spell at AC Milan.
But the ace has impressed straight away, scoring twice in three games under former Napoli boss Maurizio Sarri, and his loan can be increased by another year for £16m. However, it’s believed all parties would prefer to make his stay permanent. Chelsea also negotiated a £31.5m fee with Juventus, which can be triggered at the end of the season.
But it’s reckoned the Blues are confident of slashing that figure, with Juve unable to afford Higuain’s £300,000-a-week wages should he return to Turin. The Italian giants got rid of the Argentine after landing Cristiano Ronaldo on an eye-watering four-year contract worth £28m-a-season. Juventus have also decided to bet big on Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsey, agreeing a deal worth £400,000-a-week with the soon-to-be free agent. And Chelsea reckon they can take full advantage of Juve’s financial situation to bring Higuain to Stamford Bridge in a knock-down deal.