Lampard ponders Giroud exit from Stamford Bridge

Chelsea

Frank Lampard has admitted it would be a calculated gamble to let Olivier Giroud leave Chelsea without signing a replacement whilst the transfer window is open.

Blues boss Lampard has given the clearest indication yet that Giroud could leave Stamford Bridge in the January window, conceding the France striker could depart even if no replacement arrives this month.

Giroud’s agent is understood to have agreed personal terms with Inter Milan in Serie A, with ex-Chelsea manager Antonio Conte keen to recruit the World Cup-winning striker.

Lampard insists no deal has yet been struck with Chelsea over a sale for Giroud, whose contract expires in the summer – but the Blues boss knows his possible departure could squeeze his thin squad.

Should Giroud leave without Chelsea signing a replacement then the Blues would have just Tammy Abraham and Michy Batshuayi as recognised senior strikers and Lampard is unsure over whether to take that risk or not.

He said: “Ollie (Giroud) has been great as well and I respect him for that, and that slightly comes into my thinking as well but the club will always come first.

“Nothing is done yet so we can probably broach these questions if and when something is done.

“Everyone’s talking about it a possible Giroud transfer so I’m not going to beat around the bush, I think his agent has spoken to the club, but until anything’s done he’s a Chelsea player.”

Ahead of the clash with Burnley, frontline striker Abraham has already bagged 12 goals in his breakthrough Premier League campaign with Chelsea, and Lampard has backed the academy graduate to keep improving.

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Abraham jumped at the chance to wear Chelsea’s coveted number nine shirt, and Lampard has insisted he had no qualms handing it over after watching the 22-year-old in pre-season.

Lampard believes Abraham could step up for England at Euro 2020 should injured Harry Kane not recover in time, hailing his star striker’s tough resolve and bullish confidence.

Asked if Abraham can seize a chance with England now, Lampard said: “He should always be thinking that.”

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