Chelsea will trigger Giroud contract extension, says Maurizio Sarri

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The Blues striker has been linked heavily with a move back to his home country, but his manager denies that he will leave

Maurizio Sarri says Chelsea will activate a clause to extend Olivier Giroud's contract for another year to keep the France international at the club next season.

Giroud has spoken about his discontent over a lack of game time, and he has been linked with a move back to Ligue 1 to both Lyon and Marseille.

However, Sarri was pretty clear that he will keep the 31-year-old for another year, as his impressive run of six goals in five starts for club and country sees him making an impact at the end of the season.

The France international scored as he finally started his first league game of 2019 against Brighton, and will hope for more starts, as Sarri signals his intent to keep his frontman.

“Yes, of course. I know the club have an option for another season, so I think he will remain,” Sarri told reporters. "I think so [that he wants to stay]."

Rumours remain rife that Roman Abramovich is losing interest in Chelsea and that is may lead to the sale of the club.

However, this has been denied by the club on several occasions and most recently through the chairman Bruce Buck, who says the owner remains in regular contact about what's happening at Stamford Bridge.

The Chelsea owner has only attended one Sarri game which was the pre-season match in Nice against Internazionale. His lack of appearances at his club come after his application for a UK visa was stalled, as tensions rise between the British government and Russia over issues outside of football.

The billionaire has since withdrawn his visa and announced a freeze on redeveloping Stamford Bridge, but Sarri revealed that Abramovich talks directly to his assistant Gianfranco Zola to exert his influence.

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“More Zola than me," Sarri said before explaining why. “Because Zola speaks English better than me, of course. He has some problems now, but he is involved with the club, with the team.

“Of course. He is the owner, and so he can influence the technical staff, the club, the players, everything I think. Also in Naples, the president Aurelio [De Laurentiis] wasn't in the training ground every day. He was in the training ground once a month, no more. So it's very similar.”

Chelsea face West Ham on Monday in the Premier League, as they seek to secure a place in next season's Champions League