Olivier Giroud hints at Chelsea transfer exit after FA Cup final against old club Arsenal as contract runs down

SATURDAY'S FA Cup final may be Olivier Giroud's last outing in a Chelsea shirt with the striker open to "another challenge" this summer.

After spending the first half of the season out of the first-team picture, the Frenchman seemed destined to leave in January.

However, the Blues' failure to sign a replacement led to a spell in the side and a new contract, until 2021.

Giroud nevertheless knows that Chelsea may try and move him on after the season ends amid Frank Lampard's attempts to revamp the squad.

The 33-year-old told L'Equipe: "I still have one year to run on my Chelsea contract.

"If [I stay at] Chelsea, I’ll be happy. If this is not the case, another challenge will be presented to me.

"I can still play in a top league for another two years. I don’t set any limits for myself.

"I remember a discussion I had with Arsene Wenger. He told me that he saw me playing well until the age of 35 because, as I get older, my game would not be penalised since it is not based on speed."

WERN TO WATCH

Giroud should start at Wembley, aiming to deny old club Arsenal a vital spot in next season's Europa League.

With seven goals in his last eight matches, the striker is expected to lead the line and keep Tammy Abraham on the bench.

Chelsea also have a longshot Champions League tie with Bayern Munich, trailing 3-0 ahead of the last-16 second leg, that may see Lampard experiment with the line-up.

Matters will get more complicated in that regard with next season's arrival of Timo Werner from RB Leipzig.

And Giroud knows the German forward is not coming to West London to sit on the bench.

He noted: "I’ll be clear, this arrival is an additional motivation, and it was inevitable that the club would recruit a striker.

"Chelsea are a big club, spending money to strengthen the squad, and I was expecting someone to come in.

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"With [Hakim] Ziyech and Werner, Chelsea will try to be more competitive. Well, then, if you had told me that it was a player of my profile who was going to arrive, I would have been worried. That is not the case.

"As other teams play in a compact way against us, it’s not bad to have a big fulcrum that can make the link.

"But I am not naive – Werner did not arrive to sit on the bench. I will do everything to ensure that Lampard finds himself in a complex situation when he has to make his choice."

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