Chelsea are caught between the rock of tying England international Gary Cahill at the club and a hard place of playing the defender regularly.
Cahill was knocked off the top of the pecking order in Chelsea’s backline following the arrival of Italian head coach Maurizio Sarri in July.
The defender’s future turned into a controversy after reports suggest Chelsea could wave him off this season.
The 32-year-old entered the last run on his contract at the west London outfit after joining eight years ago from Bolton Wanderers.
Sarri has yet to start Cahill this season, despite playing as a regular in Conte’s back three during the 49-year-old stint at the club.
But since Sarri’s appointment in July, Cahill is out of sight. The defender is at the bottom of the pecking order in Sarri’s defensive options.
Cahill racked up 282 appearances for the FA Cup champions and may be angling for an exit in January, if he doesn’t get enough game time, says The Sun.
But cutting Cahill loose now may be a risk the Blues will want to avoid because they don’t have his suitable replacement.
Whether the hugely admired defender will eventually be axed from Sarri’s squad and allowed to speak with other clubs remains unclear.
Nonetheless, his chances of staying at Stamford Bridge remains very slim.