Chelsea manager Frank Lampard insists Olivier Giroud is a key member of the team, despite playing a bit-part role in recent weeks.
The striker is currently third in the pecking order, with Lampard preferring a Timo Werner and Tammy Abraham partnership in recent games.
The duo have been prolific in front of goal, which has since limited the Frenchman to a handful of appearances this season.
Speaking ahead of their Champions League match away to Rennes, Lampard revealed he enjoys a good relationship with the former Arsenal forward, but insisted everyone understands there's competition for positions.
"Oli is a very important member of our squad. 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,"
Lampard further responded to Giroud's agent, who questioned how Abraham could be ahead of his client in the pecking order, hinting at finding a new club for the striker.
"There is competition in the forward areas at Chelsea. Everyone has to take that one. I saw Oli’s agents' 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 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,"
Chelsea will play French side Rennes in the fourth fixture of the campaign, knowing a win will see them qualify for the next round.