Chelsea star Olivier Giroud has signed a one-year contract extension ahead of the club’s summer transfer ban.
The France striker, 32, has played second-fiddle for much of the season but is currently joint top-scorer in the Europa League.
Giroud is likely to be given more of a chance in 2019-20 with the Blues unable to sign any new players until July 2020.
Gonzalo Higuain is set to be shipped back to Italy after an appalling stint at Stamford Bridge.
And Eden Hazard is all-but certain to join Real Madrid to finally complete his “dream move” this summer.
That means former Arsenal star Giroud could be the man to lead the line, with returning loanees Michy Batshuayi, Alvaro Morata and Tammy Abraham other options.
Chelsea are unable to bring in any new faces for a year as they serve a two-window transfer ban.
The embargo relates to the illegal signing of minors, most notably Bertrand Traore.
Now the club must make do with the players at their disposal – and Giroud is the first to commit his future to the West London giants by signing a one-year deal.
Giroud put pen to paper on an 18-month deal on his arrival at Chelsea from rivals Arsenal in January 2018.
However, he had an option included in the deal that allowed the contract to be extended by a further 12 months.
Both player and club are happy to trigger the extension.
It’s a huge boost for Chelsea, with Giroud – who’s scored goals for fun when given the chance in Europe – wanted by a host of clubs in his native France.
Nice, Marseille, Bordeaux and Lyon had all expressed their interest in bringing the 89-cap international home.