Chelsea pair close in on January exits with Aston Villa and Inter Milan interested - reports

Drinkwater and Giroud are not part of Lampard's plans

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Two Chelsea players not considered part of Frank Lampard's plans look set to seal exits from the club this month as Danny Drinkwater closes in on a loan move to Aston Villa and Inter Milan revive their interest in Olivier Giroud, according to media reports.

Drinkwater, 29, has returned to Chelsea after his loan spell at Burnley was cut short, the midfielder's time at Turf Moor limited to one Premier League appearance due to injury and struggles to break into the starting side.

Hist time back at Stamford Bridge is not expected to last long, though, as Sky Sports have reported that Aston Villa could look to take Drinkwater on loan for the second half of the season. However, Villa's interest may hinge on the club's ability to strengthen in goal and up front following long-term injuries to Tom Heaton and Wesley.

Drinkwater signed for Chelsea from Leicester City in September 2017 for £35 million (Dh169m), but has failed to make an impression at the London club, making just 12 Premier League starts.

Giroud is also expected to secure a move away from Chelsea this month, with Sky Sports reporting that Inter Milan have made fresh contact with the Premier League club over signing the French World Cup winner.

Giroud, 33, has entered the final six months of his contract so is free to open talks with foreign clubs over a summer move, although reports claim Inter are keen to take the striker to the San Siro during this transfer window.

Should Giroud sign for Inter, he will be reunited with manager Antonio Conte, who signed the France international for Chelsea in January 2018. However, in a twist of fate, Villa have also been linked with the target man as a replacement for Wesley, and if that move were to be completed, it may scupper Drinkwater's hopes of moving to Villa Park.

While rarely considered Chelsea's first-choice striker, Giroud has contributed during his time with the club, most notably as the Europa League's top goalscorer last season, his 11 goals helping Chelsea win the tournament.