Olivier Giroud, Chelsea Agree to Contract Extension: 'I Am Very Happy to Sign'

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistMay 21, 2019

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 09: Oliver Giroud of Chelsea celebrates after winning on penalties to secure a spot in the Europa League final during the UEFA Europa League Semi Final Second Leg match between Chelsea and Eintracht Frankfurt at Stamford Bridge on May 9, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images)
James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images

Chelsea have confirmed striker Olivier Giroud has signed a new one-year contract at Stamford Bridge that will keep him at the club until June 2020.

Giroud joined Chelsea in January 2018, and he spoke joyfully of his new deal, per the club's official website: "I am very happy to sign a new contract. I really wanted to stay at least one more year - I have felt a part of the team, the family, since the beginning and hopefully there will be more trophies to come."

The 32-year-old's contract was due to expire in June, but Giroud expressed contentment in west London and suggested he was close to signing a new deal, per the Daily Mail's Matt Barlow.

He said: "I feel very happy at the club. Maybe I need a bit more game time, but I won't give up. That's my mentality. That's how I'm made. It's not sorted yet, but we are talking about another year."

Simon Johnson of the Evening Standard recently reported Giroud has been convinced to extend his Stamford Bridge stay after previously hinting at an exit due to a lack of starting opportunities.

It’s been seven years since Giroud left Montpellier for the Premier League, but his signature has been in-demand among clubs from France's top flight. A return to Ligue 1 has been touted this summer, with Lyon, Nice, Bordeaux and Marseille reported as possible destinations.

James Benge of Football.London added that his prospects under manager Maurizio Sarri might even improve next season:

The report acknowledged Chelsea's upcoming two-window transfer ban due to signing foreign minors—which the club have appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport—as a factor in why they've retained Giroud.

Gonzalo Higuain, 31, is expected to rejoin parent club Juventus when his loan comes to an end, and the club won't be permitted to sign a replacement if the transfer embargo stands.

Despite his advanced years, Giroud has proved useful for club and country in recent seasons. He was an important cog for France in their run to the 2018 FIFA World Cup, and his 10 goals in the UEFA Europa League this season make him the competition's top scorer.

Football writer Jeremy Smith highlighted his international scoring form also continues to stand out:

Giroud first moved to London when he joined Arsenal in 2012, and he'll face his former club in the Europa League final in Baku, Azerbaijan, on Wednesday, May 29.

Speaking about his old Arsenal loyalties, Giroud told Barlow he's committed to Chelsea: "I enjoyed the years I spent there. It has been a big part of my career, my first club in England and it will always be special, but now I feel my blood is blue. The same as the national team, blue suits me well."

It seems unlikely the club will attempt to sign Higuain permanently from Juve. Goal's Nizaar Kinsella noted the Argentinian's unimpressive Premier League return since he arrived in January:

Beating Arsenal to a European title after already qualifying for next term's UEFA Champions League would be an ideal end to his first full season at Chelsea.

His new contract and security ahead of next season is sure to provide a morale boost ahead of the trip to Azerbaijan, where it's been confirmed Arsenal will be without midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

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