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Giroud to remain at Chelsea as one-year contract extension activated

14:18 BST 20/05/2019
Olivier Giroud Chelsea 2018-19
The Blues striker would have been free to leave Stamford Bridge this summer but will now stay in west London until June 2020

Chelsea have activated a clause in Olivier Giroud's contract to extend his deal for an extra year and keep him with the club for next season, Goal understands.

Maurizio Sarri had already signalled his intent to keep the France international, but the 32-year-old threw his future into doubt by complaining of a bit-part role at the club and talking up moves back to Ligue 1.

Nice, Marseille and Lyon were among those who expressed an interest in signing the frontman, who would have been available for free this summer had Chelsea not pushed to keep him.

Giroud is now well-placed to start in the upcoming Europa League final against former club Arsenal on May 29 after netting 10 goals in the competition this term.

The Blues have moved to ensure that the striker does not depart, with the uncertainty over the club's upcoming transfer ban meaning they could not be sure of whether a replacement would be able to be brought in.

Chelsea have yet to contact the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) to delay a two-window ban that has been put in place by FIFA and is set to come into force this summer.

The Premier League transfer window has already opened, but Chelsea still have time to contact CAS regarding an appeal after FIFA threw out the club's original appeal against the ban in late April.

The current situation has left the club needing to keep as many of their current playing staff on their books, with Cesar Azpilicueta, N'Golo Kante, Marcos Alonso and David Luiz having all renewed their contracts this season already.

Mateo Kovacic is in early talks over making his loan move from Real Madrid permanent, and all parties believe that a deal is possible without breaking the rules of the ban due to the Blues holding the player's registration already.

The situation surrounding the potential retention of fellow loanee Gonzalo Higuain is more doubtful, and there have been no moves to keep the Argentina international despite Juventus being keen to keep his high wages off their books.

Sarri is likely to provide Higuain with his best chance of remaining in the English capital, though Sarri's own future remains insecure due to his unpopularity with the club's fanbase and having failed to convince directors of his worth despite a third-placed finish in the league.

Juventus have added Sarri to their managerial shortlist to replace the outgoing Massimiliano Allegri while Roma remain keen on the former Napoli coach as they look to employ a permanent successor to Eusebio Di Francesco.