Chelsea midfielder Michael Essien says, as far as he is concerned, he still has a future at Stamford Bridge and remains a Real Madrid player only in a temporary capacity, having joined Los Blancos on loan for the season.
Essien was allowed to move the Santiago Bernabeu in the summer transfer window of last year, teaming up with former Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho in the process, but as it stands will return to west London at the end of the campaign.
The 30-year-old has made 26 appearances for Real Madrid this term, scoring one goal, and his the length of time he spends with the Spanish champions may depend on the future of Mourinho as the club's manager.
For the time being, however, Essien is prepared to go back to Chelsea in the summer and fight for his place at Stamford Bridge under the successor to interim boss Rafael Benitez.
"I have a contract at Chelsea and at present I am only on loan here [at Real Madrid], so nothing has changed," he told The Sport Review.
Essien, meanwhile, believes Chelsea are capable of reaching the glory days of old and challenge for the Premier League tittle, and believes the Blues will be better placed next year after a transitional 2012-13.
"A lot of the players from the past are not there and there are new players," Essien added.
"It takes time to blend all of them and create a team straight away. I am sure over time the team will know each other very well and the good times will be back."