Gary Cahill has been told he has to “wait” for a decision to be made on his Chelsea future, with Manchester United the latest side to be linked with a January approach.
The 32-year-old defender has been a mainstay in the first team throughout his time at Stamford Bridge, taking in over 280 appearances.
He has, however, started to slip down the pecking order under new Blues boss Maurizio Sarri and is due to be out of contract next summer.
That situation has sparked regular rounds of transfer talk, with Cahill conceding that he will be assessing his options when the winter transfer window opens.
A reunion with former Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho has been mooted, with the Portuguese still in the market for centre-half additions at Old Trafford.
Sarri, though, remains focused on the present and has made no decision on Cahill, telling reporters ahead of a crucial Premier League clash with Liverpool: “I’ve spoken with him.
“There’s October, November and December, so I think he has to wait.
“I was very happy with the performance of Cahill [against Liverpool in the Carabao Cup].
“And so now Gary for me is very useful. January is far from now, so we will see.
“We’ve still October, November and December.”
Cahill came back into Chelsea’s starting XI for Wednesday’s Carabao cup clash with Liverpool after seeing Antonio Rudiger pick up a knock.
He impressed during a dramatic 2-1 victory at Anfield, but Sarri has suggested that he may find himself back on the bench for a visit to Stamford Bridge from the same opponents on Saturday.
Cesc Fabregas was another of those to have seen more minutes in midweek, as the Italian coach added: “I was very happy with their performance.
“Fabregas and Cahill played 90 minutes after a long time, so I’m not sure if they’re ready to play twice in a week for 90 minutes.
“After Wednesday I am sure they will be very useful for us over the season.”
Cahill is yet to start a Premier League fixture this season, taking in just 21 minutes of action so far, while Fabregas has only recently returned from a niggling knee injury.