Latest: Chelsea star hints he will leave in January

Chelsea defender Gary Cahill has dropped a pretty big hint that he expects to seal a transfer away from the club after falling out of favour this season.

The former England international has been a key player for Chelsea in his six years at Stamford Bridge, but there looks to be more competition for places at the back this season under new manager Maurizio Sarri.

This is partly down to moving away from playing three centre-backs as the team did under Sarri’s predecessor Antonio Conte, while Cahill perhaps also doesn’t look ideally suited to the new fast-paced possession game adopted by the new boss.

Speaking frankly and honestly in an interview with the Daily Mirror, Cahill more or less sounds like he’s already made up his mind about moving on as he reflected proudly on his time with the Blues and concedes there is little onus on Sarri to change a winning team.

“I don’t want to jump the gun but as things stand at this time, probably, yes [I might have to leave in January],” the 32-year-old told the Mirror.

“Whatever my future holds, in terms of the club, and the relationship I have with the club and the fans, it will have been a huge part of my footballing life. I’ve got maximum respect for everybody here.

“I realise that sometimes you have to make tough decisions and football doesn’t wait for people.

“First of all the team’s doing well which is the most important thing. Having been a big part of things for six years, seven years and played a huge part, not just a squad player, I’m definitely finding it difficult this year to deal with that situation.

“I haven’t spoken to the manager [about the situation] yet. I think we will speak soon, just to see where everything is and how the land lies.

“The most important thing here is the team, but I’ve got to look at my situation and my future as well.

“I came back a week before the season started against three defenders who’d been back plenty of time before me.

gary cahill
Gary Cahill considering Chelsea future

“Whether that would have changed anything, who knows? It was the latest I’ve ever been back.

“So to go under a new manager, learn a new way of defending and new ideas that he has I am sure he didn’t feel comfortable in putting me in and not knowing that a week before the games so I fully expected to miss the start of the season and we’ve not lost.

“So there’s no arguments from my point of view, hence why I’ve not seen him. When you’re winning games you have to sit tight and suck it up and deal with it. For me to do this all season is going to be very difficult.

“Everything gradually comes to an end or there’s a new challenge around the corner. I’ve been here for six years and won six titles.

“I wore the captain’s armband the majority of the season when we won the Premier League the year before last.

“I wore the captain’s armband last year when we won the FA Cup. I’m proud of my career, of what I’ve done here and what I’ve achieved in such a short space of time. For someone to come and do exactly the same [as I’ve done] in six years… I’d like to see how long that would take. I’m proud of that.

“I’ve always been hungry to play football. I’m not a guy who is willing to accept not playing. It’s all about playing. Your career’s short enough as it is.”

Chelsea fans will no doubt be sad to see the back of such a committed and passionate performer who has served the club so well.

Still, it may be time to move on and CFC look reasonably well equipped with the options they currently possess in defence.