Gary Cahill has admitted he will leave Chelsea in January if his first-team exile under Maurizio Sarri continues.
The defender, who will be 33 in December is out of contract at the end of the season and is yet to play a single minute of action under the former Napoli boss.
Cahill, captain under Sarri’s predecessor Antonio Conte, hopes the Chelsea hierarchy permit a move in the manner goalkeeper Petr Cech was allowed to leave for Arsenal in June 2015 after falling behind Thibaut Courtois.
Cahill said: “I don’t want to jump the gun, but as things stand at this time, probably, yes (I’ll have to leave in January).
“For me to do this all season is going to be very difficult.
“I realise sometimes football doesn’t wait for people. Sometimes you have to make those decisions to keep going and progressing.
“Obviously the most important thing is the club. But I have to look at my situation. I have to take charge of my own future.
“And if I’m sat doing what I’m doing at this moment in time, I just hope that the club will respect that when it comes to the time.”
Cahill admits he can have few complaints as the Blues have won five of five Premier League games ahead of Sunday’s clash at West Ham United.
He was in the Chelsea squad for the first time this season, but did not feature, as the Blues won 1-0 at PAOK in Europa League Group L on Thursday night.
The situation is not sustainable for Cahill, who joined from Bolton in January 2012 and retired from England duty last month to prioritise the club game.
“I’ve always been hungry to play football,” Cahill added.
“I’m not a guy who is willing to accept not playing. Your career’s short enough as it is.
“I’m in great condition at the minute, I’ve not wasted my days, I’ve not wasted the time when I haven’t been playing.
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“I’ve been training even harder, in the gym. I know I can play week-in, week-out, not a problem.
“I’ve got maximum respect for everybody here at the football club, for the fans and all the players.
“But sometimes you have to make tough decisions to keep your career going forward.”
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