OLIVIER TWIST   Chelsea ace Olivier Giroud wanted by Crystal Palace in transfer window with striker frustrated over lack of action

AMBITIOUS Crystal Palace are weighing up a January move for unsettled Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud.

Eagles boss Roy Hodgson is in the market for a reliable goalscorer to maintain his team’s surprise top six challenge.

And he believes that French international Giroud could be the man to solve his striking dilemma.

Giroud, 33, has not started a Chelsea game since August and has already spoken with manager Frank Lampard about a possible January move.

His Stamford Bridge contract runs out at the end of the season and he fears his lack of game time will see him missing out on next summer’s European Championships.

And though Lampard wants Giroud to stay as back-up to Tammy Abraham, the former Arsenal star is angling to revive his career in the New Year.

Hodgson has already been knocked by Chelsea in his attempts to sign Michy Batshuayi following the Belgian’s successful loan spell at Selhurst Park last season.

Lampard remains reluctant to part with any of his senior squad while the club remain under a transfer embargo.

But he is also sympathetic to Giroud’s situation and is willing to review his attacking options in the New Year.

Speaking recently, he said: "I had a good chat with Oli before he went away and I always respect all the players, but particularly the players of that age of low thirties.

"I love his professionalism. He was bang on when he spoke to me and with his quotes when he was away with France.

"He shouldn’t be happy and accept not playing. That’s what good players do. I think, as I said to Oli, he will get his games and be a big influence for us.

“At the moment, because of how Tammy is playing, there hasn’t been the minutes, so I would happily sit down with Oli in January. But that is a long way away. I want him here.”

Giroud, who cost Chelsea £18million when they signed him from Arsenal in January 2018, signed a 12-month extension to his £100,000-a-week contract in May.

But he did not expect to barely feature in Lampard’s team and does not want to spend the next seven months sitting on the bench.

If Chelsea do agree to let him leave, they would only require a nominal transfer fee in the region of £3million.

That would not be a problem for Palace, who still have the majority of the £45million they received from Manchester United for Aaron Wan-Bissaka burning a hole in their pocket.

Despite their impressive start to the season, the Eagles have scored just eight goals in ten games and are keen to add more firepower to their squad.

Italian giants Inter Milan have also been monitoring Giroud’s situation and would like to take him on loan in January.

But a permanent move across London could be preferable for the veteran striker who is now in his eighth season in the Premier League.