Aston Villa's on-loan defender Ryan Bertrand has intimated that he isn't prepared to sit on Chelsea's bench next season, and would prefer to complete a permanent move away from Stamford Bridge.
The Birmingham Mail reports how the 24-year-old has enjoyed a regular run of first-team football since moving to Villa Park in January, and is unwilling to return to west London without the guarantee of playing time.
With Cesar Azpilicueta and Ashley Cole for competition at left-back, Bertrand has fallen well down the Chelsea pecking order since the return of Jose Mourinho last summer.
The Portuguese coach recently stated that the youngster still has a future at Stamford Bridge, but Bertrand is adamant that he needs to be playing at this stage of his career, and will leave if that's not going to be possible with the Blues.
"It's flattering to hear what Jose Mourinho said but there's no more waiting around for me in terms of wanting to be a Chelsea player," he said. "Come the summer I need to be the No.1 left-back, wherever that will be.
"I have ambitions but I have to be realistic as well. I will sit down and consider all my options.
"Staying here [at Aston Villa] isn't something I would rule out. I've had years of playing but since I was 17 I have been on loan, basically."
Bertrand remains under contract with Chelsea until 2017, but the fact that the club are being linked with players in his position - like Southampton teenager Luke Shaw - it suggests that his future might be better served elsewhere.
"I've spent the past few years at Chelsea, in and out of the team, and the experience I've gained from that is I'm happy just playing," he continued. "That's what it comes down to in football.
"If you're getting the respect from your peers that you deserve, that means a lot."