Chelsea boss Frank Lampard will be on the lookout for a new striker when the transfer window reopens, and the departure of Olivier Giroud could help him free up some funds.
The former England midfielder was notably disappointed after the Blues failed to bring in any new players during the January transfer window despite their ban ending early.
Had they been able to sign a forward then the likelihood is that Giroud would have left as Inter Milan considered a move for the World Cup winner.
Antonio Conte’s side are likely to contact the former Arsenal man as he sets his sights on a Premier League exit having made only nine appearances in the league so far this season.
Chelsea’s Olivier Giroud is set to leave at the end of the season
(Image: Getty Images)
Italian outlet Tuttosport have now reported that the 33-year-old has rejected the chance to extend his contract in west London, with his current deal set to expire in the summer.
Lampard praised Giroud for his attitude earlier in the season after his potential transfer broke down, which could have played a part in the club’s decision to offer a new contract.
He said in January: “Olivier Giroud in this window has been incredible as a professional and as a man.
“We all know there has been interest and I’ve sat here at every press conference and said that [he could go] if it’s right for Olivier, for myself and for the club, and he’s been impeccable during that period.
“I’ve got huge respect for him for that. Will he leave? No. No ins and no outs.”
That stance means that Giroud is now set to leave the club for nothing, and could link up with Ashley Young Romelu Lukaku and Christian Eriksen in Milan.
The player himself told Telefoot : “To be honest, I saw myself playing elsewhere
Frank Lampard had praised Olivier Giroud’s professionalism in January