Gary Cahill is yet to play a game for Chelsea this season and he admits he might have to leave Stamford Bridge in January if his current situation continues.
Cahill is currently behind Antonio Rudiger, David Luiz, and Andreas Christensen in pecking order under Maurizio Sarri.
The 32-year-old has been a regular for most of his Chelsea career and he insists he is finding it difficult dealing with his current status at Chelsea as a squad player.
“I don’t want to jump the gun but as things stand at this time, probably, yes [I might have to leave in January],” Cahill said according to 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.
“Sometimes you have to make those decisions to keep going and progressing.
“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.”
Cahill also revealed he hasn’t spoken with Sarri about his current situation but insists he will speak with the manager about it. Cahill understands the team comes first but he insists he has to look at his situation and future as well.
“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,” Cahill added.
“The most important thing here is the team, but I’ve got to look at my situation and my future as well.”
With England reaching the semi-final stage of the World Cup, Cahill returned later than Antonio Rudiger, David Luiz and Andreas Christensen for preseason. The 32-year-old returned a week before the start of the season.
“I came back a week before the season started against three defenders who’d been back plenty of time before me,” Cahill added.
“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.”
Cahill’s contract expires at the end of the season and he hopes he would be allowed to join any club of his choice just as Chelsea did with Petr Cech as reward for his service and conduct.
Cahill added: “With Pete they saw he wasn’t getting the game time he would’ve liked and they rewarded his professionalism and his attitude, and the way I feel I’ve conducted myself throughout the time I’ve been here and represented the club and also the way I’m being now in a difficult moment for myself.
“I’m sure that’ll be fine and we’ll speak from now until Christmas.
“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. I’m not in a situation where I’m going to be coming up to 36.
“I’ve been training even harder, in the gym. I’m in great condition. I know I can play week-in, week-out, not a problem.
“I saw that in Petr. He could easily have played any moment. He just wanted to push himself to go and continue playing week-in, week-out. That’s why I used that as an example. I feel I’m in a similar situation
“If it wasn’t to continue here, I’d relish that challenge to go and play.
“I feel I spoke honestly there. There’s not much more I can say. 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.”