Frank Lampard has addressed the ongoing speculation surrounding Olivier Giroud's future at Chelsea.
Giroud has fallen down the squad pecking order at Chelsea following Timo Werner's arrival from RB Leipzig in the summer transfer window.
Werner has quickly established himself as Lampard's first-choice striker, while Tammy Abraham has played his way back into a regular back-up role after a frustrating end to the 2019-20 campaign.
Giroud regularly played ahead of Abraham in the post-lockdown period, but the England international is now pushing Werner hardest for a spot in the Blues' starting line-up.
Abraham and Werner both started Chelsea's 2-0 win away at Newcastle on Saturday, with the former getting his name on the scoresheet, while Giroud had to be content with a cameo appearance from the bench.
The Frenchman has admitted he may have to seek a move away from west London if his situation doesn't change soon.
Lampard is open to sitting down with Giroud to discuss his current position in the squad, and still considers him to be a vital part of his plans going forward despite his lack of minutes over the past few weeks.
The 42-year-old does not want to see the experienced frontman leave the Bridge, as he told a press conference ahead of a Champions League meeting with Rennes on Tuesday: "I do have plans to have Oli, he's very important in our squad. He was a big member of our squad last year and I think he played a lot of games and made a lot of starts for us last year.
"When you look at our games, he made a lot of league starts and I think he played a relative amount. He will always want to play more.
"He is a huge member of the squad for me and I know he will be important for us going forward. I want Oli to stay here because he will play and I have a good relationship with Oli.
"If he ever felt that was going to go a different way then I am happy to have that conversation with him but I want him to stay here and we will be very open both ways if that ever changed, but at the minute, he is very important to me."
Lampard went on to praise Abraham for the way he has embraced the extra competition for places at Chelsea this term, while expressing his belief that the 23-year-old will benefit from playing alongside Werner.
"I think when we brought a few players in attacking areas - Hakim Ziyech has had a big impact on the other side recently, and we have players here already in those areas - the whole point of that recruitment was not only to bring in quality but to lift others around them, either by link up on the pitch or by squad competition," he added.
"I have more options in forward areas and I need reactions. Tammy has shown a brilliant reaction in terms of how he is. He needs to be on that edge, and all the young players need to be on edge daily to push themselves to try to play in this team, and when they play like Tammy is at the moment he starts to make my decisions easier because he's playing so well.
"I think linking up with Timo will obviously help him, but first and foremost it always has to be the player himself. Tammy should take credit for his start and understand that his next challenge is to remain consistent. If he looks at last season I think he'll see that as well."