Ryan Bertrand has taken a swipe at Chelsea, accusing his parent club of being dishonest and treating him unfairly, giving the clearest indication yet that he will leave permanently next summer.
The 25-year-old defender is currently enjoying a season-long loan spell with Premier League rivals Southampton; the ninth time he has been farmed out of Stamford Bridge.
Speaking after Saints' 2-1 victory over Queens Park Rangers on Saturday, Bertrand hinted that he's been unhappy with the way he's been shafted in west London.
"The situation became clear to me before I went on loan to Aston Villa [last season]," he was quoted saying in Southampton's matchday programme by the Sunday Mirror.
"I was getting those 15, 20, 25, 30-plus games a season, until I hit a stumbling block.
“That’s when the alarm bells rang. Before that, I had a chance to move from the club, but I was advised that I didn’t need to do that.
“It all unravelled in front of my eyes, and certain things didn’t make sense in terms of what certain people had said to me. All I ask for is honesty, and I didn’t get that."
Bertrand penned a five-year contract extension with Chelsea worth a reported £35,000-a-week in 2012, but has seen his first-team opportunities limited in the past couple of seasons.
Jose Mourinho allowed the left-back to move to St Mary's for the 2014/15 campaign after securing the services of Brazilian star Filipe Luis from Atletico Madrid.
With Cesar Azpilicueta also deployed on the left side of defence, it became quite clear that the academy product would find regular action difficult to come by, and so agreed to move to the south coast to replace the departed Luke Shaw.
Southampton retain an option to buy Bertrand permanently in a £10 million deal next summer, and judging by his early performances Ronald Koeman will be keen to take up that option at the end of the campaign.
"I wanted to be in a situation where the club is looking for the same things," he explained when asked about his motivation behind the Saints switch.
"In a way, me as a person and Southampton as a football club are quite similar. We’re both striving to do great things.”
Yesterday marked Bertrand's 50th appearance in England's top-flight, and he was delighted to mark the milestone with his first Premier League goal which helped Saints on their way to three points against QPR.
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