Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel has said it is too early for the club to decide on Olivier Giroud’s long-term future at Stamford Bridge.
Giroud’s current contract with Chelsea will expire this summer and it remains to be seen whether France’s World Cup winner will be offered a new contract.
The former Arsenal star has made a handful of appearances for Chelsea since Tuchel took over from Frank Lampard in January.
The 34-year-old, however, did not play as Chelsea drew 1-1 with Southampton on Saturday.
Speaking ahead of Chelsea’s Champions League first leg with Atletico Madrid on Tuesday, Tuchel said, quoted by Sport Review: “No decision has been made. [on Giroud’s future] because it is too early to make these decisions, too early in the season.
“I don’t have enough time to make these decisions because I just started three weeks ago, and we need more time to get to know the squad better.
“Everyone deserves more time to show their value to the group.
“What I can say so far is that I’m really glad he’s here. He is one of the best forwards on the area.
“He’s physically strong, he has an incredible first touch when he takes balls straight from the volley. He’s very, very good at it.
“He’s very strong in the lead. He had an incredible game against Newcastle. He’s very strong, very, very positive in training. It is very impressive.
“And right now he’s playing a key role in this team, where a lot of young offensive players play.
“He’s a key figure. Maybe not because he plays 96 minutes every three days, but the way he behaves and with his daily experience.
“He’s having a huge impact in the most positive way we could hope for and that’s what I’m saying.
“I’m very happy he’s here, and from there we go. When the decision comes, we’ll make it. But, like I said, it’s too early.