Cardiff City manager Neil Warnock believes Gary Cahill may have opted to stay at Chelsea because he believes Maurizio Sarri might get sacked, paving the way for him to return to the team.
Cahill, whose contract at Stamford Bridge expires this summer, was tipped to leave during the January transfer window.
However, he rejected a move to Fulham, who had agreed terms with Chelsea, and reports say he even refused potential moves to Monaco and Juventus.
And former Crystal Palace and QPR boss Warnock thinks Cahill may have been reluctant to move because of the pressure Sarri is coming under after recent poor results.
The former England defender has been out of favour under Sarri and a change of manager could give him a chance to salvage his Chelsea career.
Sarri has played down speculation over his position, pointing to the fact that Pep Guardiola was given time to impose his methods at Manchester City.
However, speaking on BBC Five Live, Warnock said: “The players are coming out now and challenging Sarri whereas they didn’t challenge Pep – they agreed with everything Pep said because they knew it was the right thing to do.
“Now with Sarri, when we go back to the Gary Cahill incident at this moment in time, he must be sat there thinking ‘I’m not going because I’m getting a sense of something in this changing room that the players are not having this.’”