Olivier Giroud expected to extend Chelsea stay despite lack of playing time

Arnold Nichols
April 8, 2019

Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri says his squad is strong enough to handle their transfer ban.

Chelsea were handed a two-window transfer ban by world governing body Federation Internationale de Football Association in February over the recruitment of foreign youngsters with the club's appeal against the sanction set to be heard on 11 April.

Asked if he was concerned by a report in the Times this week revealing that Abramovich did not pay for an executive box at Stamford Bridge this year for the first time in a decade, Sarri said: "I don't think so".

"We have a lot of very good young players who are improving". I am not anxious about the market. No one can match his nine goals in that competition, though his start in midweek against Brighton - in which he scored his second top flight goal of the campaign - was his first in the Premier League this calendar year.

"He has some problems now, but he is involved with the club, with the team", said Sarri.

Ahead of Chelsea's clash with West Ham, we've had a look at the last five fixtures between the two, and the Blues will be looking to improve on their recent poor form against the Hammers.

"Yes, of course. I know the club have an option for another season, so I think he will remain", Sarri told reporters.

Higuain is now on six-month loan, but Chelsea have the option to extend that for an additional 12 months for £15.5m or sign him on a permanent basis £31m.

Higuain has only scored three goals, against relegated Huddersfield Town and Fulham, since arriving on an initial six-month loan from Juventus.

Clarifying that Chelsea assistant Gianfranco Zola communicates with Abramovich more frequently than he does because of his superior command of English, Sarri added: "He is the owner, and so he is able to influence the technical staff, the club, the players, everything I think".

"Then, at the same time, we are lucky because we have [Olivier] Giroud".

The player himself suggested late past year that he would "prefer to be at a big club rather than playing every week in a less prestigious team".

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