Chelsea have reportedly exercised the one-year extension option for striker Olivier Giroud amid reported interest from Serie A clubs.
The 33-year-old’s contract initially will expire this summer and Giroud was poised for a move to Serie A with Lazio and Inter Milan reportedly among the interested parties.
But Italian journalist Gianluca Di Marzio has claimed Chelsea have triggered the one-year extension option for the French international which extended his contract to 2021.
However, the report also added Chelsea have not closed the door for potential buyers for Giroud as they continue their pursuit of Napoli’s Dries Mertens.
The 32-year-old will also be out of contract this summer and an agreement between Mertens and Napoli on the new deal has yet to be met and Lampard has reportedly had direct contacts with him.
The report said by triggering Giroud’s extension option, Chelsea could sell Giroud for a relatively small fee if they manage to convince Mertens to join Frank Lampard’s squad.
Giroud has had a forgettable spell early this season as he fell in the pecking order behind Tammy Abraham and Michy Batshuayi.
The former Arsenal striker, however, has started Chelsea’s last six games since the 2-1 win over Tottenham in February in Tammy’s absence due to injury, where Giroud netted twice during this run.
On the other hand, Mertens has had six goals from 21 appearances in Serie A. But he has also had an impressive record of six goals in seven appearances in Champions League this season.