Ahead of a game against opposition from his native France, the future of Olivier Giroud at Chelsea was discussed by Frank Lampard.

During the recent international break, quotes attributed to the French striker's agent suggested he wanted to leave Stamford Bridge in search of more playing time ahead of next summer's European Championships.

There was similar talk this time last year ahead of a January transfer window in which Giroud eventually stayed. He went on to play a vital role in Chelsea securing a top-four spot and reaching the FA Cup final, and Lampard hopes he will continue to be able to call upon the 34-year-old beyond the next transfer window.

'Oli is a very important member of our squad,' he said.

'He played a lot of games last year, he will always want to play more, and he is a huge member of the squad for me. I know he will be important for us going forward so I want Oli to be here and to stay.

'I have a very good relationship with Oli and if ever he felt it was going to go a different way I would happily have that conversation with him. But I want him to stay here.

'There is competition in the forward areas at Chelsea. Everyone has to take that one. I saw Oli’s agent's quotes and I thought nothing of them. Oli and I have very open conversations. He wants to play. When he doesn’t play he is an incredible support for the other players. He trains brilliantly no matter what. We will cross that January bridge when it comes, but my thought has to be the strength of our squad.'

Read more from Lampard here