Lampard keen to extend Giroud and Willian contracts at Chelsea

Olivier Giroud Chelsea 2019-20
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The manager says the players both have feelings for the club and he is hopeful they will see the season out at Stamford Bridge

Chelsea manager Frank Lampard is hopeful that deals can be struck with Olivier Giroud and Willian if the Premier League season resumes.

The coronavirus pandemic, which has left Britain the worst affected country in the world behind only the USA in terms of deaths, has seen top-flight play stopped, although there is hope that it may resume in June.

With nine matches left to play, there is little prospect that the campaign will be concluded before the end of next month, when the contracts of the France and Brazil internationals are up.

As a result, Lampard is hoping that an agreement can be reached that allows both to play a full role until the campaign is brought to a halt.

“It is still uncertain if and when play will get underway. We have big players [out of contract] so that's something I'm obviously looking at very carefully,” he told Sky Sports News.

“The ones who are out of contract here have been great servants for the club, and actually have a lot of feelings for the club.

“Of course they'll be concerned about themselves, in terms of how training is now and if the pre-season is a rush they're going to have to make sure they're alright.

“So it's going to have to be something we have to look at, hopefully that arrangement can be made so they can stay with us.

“I would love the squad to look as it has all season, but we'll have to see how that works.”

The ex-England midfielder, meanwhile, would not be drawn into criticising players who are worried about their health ahead of a Monday vote that will dictate whether a first phase of training can resume.

“Everyone will handle those situations differently,” he said. “People like Troy Deeney, you have to give the freedom to speak out, because people will be speaking from the heart.

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“Their intentions and their feelings for their families are good. They want to get here and work. They can't wait to get back and play football.

“I think the important part of my job at the moment is a lot of empathy with the players.

“You can't just say: 'Lads, we're going this way,’ because this is a situation none of us have known. This is not a players' strike, it's not a player not wanting to train, or a player having an argument with another player, this is something that has affected everyone and their families.”