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Giroud: 'Lyon is a good club'

Publish on 24/03/2019 at 00h00 - S. WILLIS

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Olivier Giroud has opened the door to a return to Ligue 1 Conforama with Olympique Lyonnais the France and Chelsea striker's preferred destination.

Giroud's goal against Moldova in Friday's UEFA EURO 2020 qualifying opener took the 2018 FIFA World Cup winner level with David Trezeguet in France's all-time leading goalscorers' chart behind only Thierry Henry and Michel Platini.

Though he remains a key player for national team boss Didier Deschamps, the 32-year-old's contract with Chelsea is up at the end of the season, and Giroud has found himself on the fringes of Maurizio Sarri's squad with summer arrival Gonzalo Higuain limiting his opportunities to lead the line.

Though he has not set his heart on leaving Stamford Bridge next summer, Giroud, who was Ligue 1 Conforama top scorer as Montpellier Hérault SC claimed a surprise top-flight title in 2011/12, is open to the idea of making the return trip across the Channel.

"It's a possiblity, but from that to say I'm issuing a 'come and get me' plea to a French club is a long way. It's a possibility, but I say it again: I'm happy in England," said the ex-Grenoble and Tours striker, who left Montpellier for Arsenal in summer 2012, and who has been praised recently by Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas.

"It's always nice, especially coming from President Aulas. Lyon is a good club."

When asked to give a one word reply to the question, 'If you come back to France, would Lyon be your priority?', Giroud replied: "Yes".

He also answered "No" when asked if the 2018/19 campaign would be his last at Chelsea. However, he added that he hopes to force his way into a more central role in Sarri's plans.

"We'll see what the future brings given the club can't buy any players for the moment," said Giroud, who has not started a Premier League game since Higuain's arrival on loan at the turn of the year.

"It's sure that I hope to get more time on the pitch. I want to get back to having an important role in the team."