Frank Lampard has admitted it would be a calculated gamble to let Olivier Giroud leave Chelsea without signing a replacement.
Blues boss Lampard has given the clearest indication yet that Giroud could leave Stamford Bridge in the January window, conceding the France striker could depart even if no replacement arrives this month.
Giroud’s agent is understood to have agreed personal terms with Inter Milan, with ex-Chelsea manager Antonio Conte keen to recruit the World Cup-winning striker.
Lampard insists no deal has yet been struck with Chelsea over a sale for Giroud, whose contract expires in the summer – but the Blues boss knows his possible departure could squeeze the Blues’ squad.
Should Giroud leave without Chelsea – who apparently want £8.5m for the Frenchman – signing a replacement then the Blues would have just Tammy Abraham and Michy Batshuayi as recognised senior strikers.
“There are a lot of things in football and the squad that are a risk, otherwise you would line up three or four of the best players in each position,” said Lampard.
“We have some adaptable players in our team who could take up different roles, so that would have to come into my thinking at that point.
“That’s my job, I’m going into it now. I have to make those decisions as I go along.
“I also have to think about the make-up of the squad, the spirit of the squad and I also have a human level where I look at people and players, how they are, how they train and how the squad could be affected in lots of different ways.
“Ollie (Giroud) has been great as well and I respect him for that, and that slightly comes into my thinking as well.
“The club will always come first. If I feel the decision to keep everybody in the January window, that will be my decision too.
“Nothing is done yet so we can probably broach these questions if and when something is done.
“Everyone’s talking about it (a possible Giroud transfer) so I’m not going to beat around the bush. I think his agent has spoken to the club, but until anything’s done he’s a Chelsea player.”