Giroud: Higuain arrival at Chelsea makes my future bleaker

Olivier Giroud has said his Chelsea future looks "bleaker" following the arrival of Gonzalo Higuain from Juventus on loan until the end of the season.

Higuain made his debut in Sunday's 3-0 FA Cup fourth round win over Sheffield Wednesday at Stamford Bridge, and looks set to play against Bournemouth in the Premier League on Wednesday after Maurizio Sarri replaced him with Giroud in the 82nd minute.

Chelsea have an option to keep Giroud -- who is in the final year of his contract -- next season but, with the possibility of Higuain's loan deal being extended or made permanent, the France international is beginning to consider other options.

Asked by Canal Football Club about reports suggesting Barcelona are interested, Giroud said: "My agent is taking care of things. If they're looking for a forward we'll study the opportunities, whether it be there or elsewhere.

"It's certain that if Chelsea wants to sign another striker [permanently], like Higuain, my future would look bleaker. As I'm practically out of contract in June, we'll see what the best decision to take is."

Giroud said in an interview with ESPN FC earlier this month that he had found it "difficult" to accept not being Sarri's first-choice striker, with the Chelsea head coach often deploying Eden Hazard as a "False No. 9" rather than picking him or Alvaro Morata.

"I haven't played much recently," he said. "The coach made the choice to play Eden up front. It's a tactical choice that is to the detriment of the forwards who are real No. 9s, in inverted commas.

"He's extraordinary. He's the best player I've ever played with, I've said it before. But I'm sure that if you ask him the question, his preferred position is No. 10 and not striker."

After seven successful years in English football with Arsenal and Chelsea, Giroud has been linked with a return to France, where he helped Montpellier to a surprise Ligue 1 title in 2012.

On the subject of reported interest from Marseille and Lyon, he said: "Of course, they're two big clubs.

"I've never ruled out a return to France. But at the time I said my priority is to stay in the Premier League. It still is, but we'll see."