Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri says he will not be the one to decide Gary Cahill's future at the club, but the defender can expect little game time under the Italian as he does not suit their style of play.
Cahill is in the final year of his deal at Stamford Bridge, and Sarri opened the door for him to move on.
Per ESPN FC's Liam Twomey, Sarri said:
"I respect him very much because he has won everything with this club, but then I have to do my job.
"Every match I have to choose. For me it is not [possible] to have him on the bench. Maybe he is the best [of our defenders] in the box, but our defenders may play 100 or 110 balls in a match, so I need defenders [to play] very technically.
"It is not my decision, it is up to him and the club [whether he stays]. He is in the last year of the contract; he has to decide for a new contract here or another club.
"For the [players] over 30 the club usually offers only one year of contract. If he has an offer of three years [somewhere else] he can of course choose something. It doesn't depend if I am sentimental or not."
Come January, Cahill will have been at the club for seven years.
The 32-year-old has contributed much in that time, making almost 300 appearances and helping Chelsea win two Premier League titles, the UEFA Champions League, the UEFA Europa League and both major domestic cups once apiece.
He has been a regular throughout his Chelsea career, first alongside John Terry at the back and then taking over as captain when Terry's age saw him phased out.
Last season, he made 43 appearances in all competitions under Antonio Conte, but in this campaign he has played just seven times. Only one of those games came in the Premier League, and it was a 21-minute cameo.
While Sarri likes his centre-backs to be comfortable on the ball and capable of carrying it out and distributing it from the back, Cahill is of a different mould.
CalcioLand's Alex Goldberg enjoyed the contrast between Cahill's solidity and the technically adept but error-prone team-mate David Luiz:
It's clear the former England international has little future at Stamford Bridge, so a departure in January would be best for both parties.
Despite his age—he'll turn 33 on December 19—he could still be a useful addition to any side in need of an experienced, reliable defender.