Maurizio Sarri says Danny Drinkwater is not suitable for the way Chelsea play under him.
Midfielder Drinkwater, signed from Leicester City in 2017, has not featured at all under Blues boss Sarri this season.
And there is clearly no future for him at Stamford Bridge, where boss Sarri has several other options.
The likes of Jorginho, N’Golo Kante, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Ross Barkley and Mateo Kovacic have all played significant roles under Sarri, who also has Cesc Fabregas to call upon.
Speaking at a press conference on Friday afternoon, Sarri said: “I think he’s a very good midfielder but he is suitable for a midfield with two midfielders.
“With the three, he’s not really a central midfielder and not suitable to play centre-right or centre-left, so I think for him the problem is only my football.”
Several clubs have been linked with Drinkwater but there have been reports that his wage demands are a barrier to any move.
He stayed during the summer transfer window and could end up staying when the window reopens in January.
Asked if Drinkwater is likely to leave, Sarri said: “I don’t know. It depends on the club. It’s up to him I think. I don’t know.”
Meanwhile, Andreas Christensen has been ruled out of Saturday’s game against Leicester because of a hamstring problem.