Chelsea midfielder Marco van Ginkel has held crunch talks to find out if he figures in Jose Mourinho's first-team plans this season, with a loan exit still possible before the transfer window slams shut.
Van Ginkel's agent Karel Jansen has admitted that Van Ginkel found his omission from the 18-man Chelsea squad to face Burnley in Monday's Premier League opener difficult to take, despite the huge competition for places in Mourinho's star-studded squad.
The 21-year-old is desperate to make sure his development is not harmed by a lack of first-team action and as a result Jansen has refused to rule out the possibility of a season-long loan switch, although it won't result in an Eredivise return despite interest from PSV Eindhoven.
Jansen admits doubts
In an interview with Dutch daily newspaper Algemeen Dagblad the youngster's representative revealed: "We are in talks with Chelsea. Of course Marco wants to fight for his chances, but there must be a real perspective. Monday was not pleasant to see, of course.
On interest from PSV there was a flat rejection, with Van Ginkel only prepared to move if it means the chance to shine in one of Europe's major competitions.
Jansen said: "His caliber of player is now only in the Premier League or in Germany, Spain or Italy. We are waiting for a response from Chelsea as to how they see things."
Mourinho has to upset somebody
With an embarrassment of riches at his disposal Mourinho has already allowed Oriol Romeu, Josh McEachran, Victor Moses and Marko Marin to move on this summer, either on loan or permanently.
Van Ginkel spent the vast majority of his debut campaign at Stamford Bridge out injured, taking his time to recover from a cruciate injury which effectively ended his chances of making the Netherlands World Cup squad.
After a full pre-season the versatile midfielder was hoping to persuade Mourinho he deserved a chance, but there are far more experienced players ahead of him in the pecking order that also can't get a start, for example Nigerian star Jon Obi Mikel.
Chelsea have to let at least one more foreign player leave the club before the transfer window slams shut to fall in line with Premier League regulations over squad quotas, don't be surprised if that man is Van Ginkel despite the £9m man's immense promise.