Door open for Newcastle United target to leave in January – but Inter Milan lead race for striker's signature

Chelsea boss Frank Lampard has left the door ajar for Newcastle United target Olivier Giroud to leave this month – but Inter Milan are in pole position to sign the striker.

Tuesday, 7th January 2020, 7:00 am
PARIS, FRANCE - NOVEMBER 14: Olivier Giroud of France celebrates after scoring his team's second goal during the UEFA Euro 2020 Qualifier between France and Moldova on November 14, 2019 in Paris, France. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

Giroud has been on the fringes of the first-team squad at Chelsea this season as young Englishman Tammy Abraham, a former Rafa Benitez target, has taken the lead at Stamford Bridge. And with the European Championships on the horizon, Giroud is keen to get games under his belt between now and May.

United made a loan enquiry for the Frenchman over the weekend but were initially rebuffed, with Lampard keen to get a replacement in before letting Giroud or Michy Batshuayi, another United loan target, leave the club.

Lampard said: “My answer remains the same as it has done recently and I have spoken with him.

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“If the conditions are that it's something Oli really wants to do and it works for the club and it works for me and the squad, then it's something that could happen. But only when all three of those bases are covered.”

While United remain keen and will try to revisit this deal towards the end of the window, Premier League rivals Aston Villa are keen to fill the gap left behind following striker Wesley’s season-ending injury.

Villa, along with Italian giants Inter – who are reportedly Giroud’s preferred January destination – are also sniffing around a deal for the 33-year-old former Arsenal frontman.