Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud has warned Maurizio Sarri he must be given a more important role next season if the Blues boss wants him to stay at Stamford Bridge.
Giroud has been largely consigned to a bit-part role with Chelsea this term and the France World Cup winner is considering his future after seeing Sarri’s old Napoli striker Gonzalo Higuain arrive on loan from Juventus to take his position.
Chelsea have the option to extend the 32-year-old’s deal by another year, but frustrated former Arsenal star Giroud is hoping for a meeting with club bosses before the end of the campaign.
Giroud had already played second fiddle to misfiring Spaniard Alvaro Morata, now on loan at Atletico Madrid, before Higuain’s signing and he wants a more prominent role in future.
“Trust me I’m very frustrated when I’m not on the pitch, but I just don’t want to show it,” Giroud said ahead of Chelsea’s Europa League quarter-final second leg against Slavia Prague on Thursday.
“You need to keep that frustration for you. And transform that into positive energy on the pitch.
“But trust me I’m not happy to play the second role. That’s why I said next year I will need to have a more important role to play in the team.”
Asked when he will talk to the club about next season, Giroud said: “I don’t know, I have no clue about that now. But before the end of the season.
“I have to meet [club director] Marina [Granovskaia], but obviously I might be here.
“The thing is I just want to enjoy it because I’m 32 and I’ve won the World Cup. But I want to retire satisfied.”
Giroud has started only seven Premier League games this season, while making 17 substitute appearances.
He has become a Europa League specialist for Chelsea, scoring nine times in 10 appearances in the current campaign.
Giroud admitted uncertainty over Chelsea’s transfer options for next season has most likely led to a delay in talks.
Chelsea have appealed FIFA’s two-window transfer embargo relating to the signings of players aged under 18, with a decision on that still pending.
The club could still take the case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport should their FIFA appeal prove unsuccessful.
And Giroud admitted the current situation creates a transfer limbo, saying: “Obviously we still don’t know if the club will have the opportunity to sign players or not.
“Maybe it’s a bit confusing now. There is no reason that they are not going to give me one more year. But I need to be happy as well.
“The most important thing for me is to enjoy the game, to be happy on the pitch and to have more minutes. I’m a competitor. So I really want to play more.”
Sarri was absent from the press conference after having an operation on a tooth on Wednesday, so Giroud may have felt more emboldened to speak his mind with only assistant Gianfranco Zola with him in front of the media.