Olivier Giroud’s surprise admission about Chelsea future and his challenge for Tammy Abraham

Olivier Giroud has said that he would like to stay at Chelsea beyond this season in a significant U-turn for the veteran striker who was eager to leave the club in the January transfer window.

The France international, who turns 34 in September, has made the most of his opportunity in Frank Lampard’s side since Tammy Abraham injured an ankle last month, scoring in the win against Tottenham Hotspur and playing an important role in the build-up to Ross Barkley’s goal against Liverpool on Tuesday evening.

Because he is out of contract in the summer, Giroud has been free to speak to other clubs since January. But asked if he would now consider remaining at Stamford Bridge his answer was unequivocal.

“Yes,” Giroud said. “Yes, yeah, yeah, yeah, of course. There are a few weeks to go, games to win and maybe another trophy and after, you know, I think I have two or three nice seasons in front of me.

“It’s not the time to talk about contracts and everything but I will take a decision when it comes. Let’s see what happens.”

Chelsea are expected to sign a new striker to compete with Abraham in the summer but one of Giroud or Michy Batshuayi is likely to remain as a reserve option.

The club could make money off of selling Batshuayi, who is currently out of favour but under contract until 2022, while Giroud is likely to accept a one-year deal.

With no date set for Abraham’s return, Giroud is set to remain first-choice for the near future and his confidence has been building game by game.

The former Arsenal striker also insisted that the doubts and speculation surrounding his future in January are fully behind him. Lampard had said from the outset that he would be allowed to leave once Chelsea had secured a replacement but with no new face arriving he ended up staying.

Opportunities had been few and far between while Abraham was fit, with Giroud making more appearances for Les Bleus than his club between September and February. But Lampard had also repeatedly said that the…