Cesc Fabregas has only been at Chelsea for two years but his spell at Stamford Bridge now appears to be as good as over.
The Spaniard, who has featured sporadically under Antonio Conte this season, is set to be loaned out in January.
This is according to The Times, who understand that Chelsea are even prepared to subsidise Fabregas’s wages in order to allow Conte to bring in another midfielder.
But why does Conte not want Fabregas?
After all, we’re talking about a former Arsenal and Barcelona star who provided more assists than any other Premier League player during the 2014-15 campaign. A midfielder of proven world-class quality.
Why Conte doesn't want Fabregas at Chelsea
According to The Times’ report, there are several reasons why Conte wants to offload the 29-year-old.
First and foremost, the Italian reportedly feels that Fabregas lacks the physical strength and positional discipline to play as one of two central midfield players in his preferred 3-4-3 system.
Secondly, Conte doesn’t feel that Fabregas possesses the required pace to operate either out wide or in more attacking areas of the pitch.
Contrary to certain reports, the two men haven’t fallen out. In fact, Fabregas has impressed backroom staff at the Bridge with his professionalism throughout what has proved a difficult season.
Fabregas is third top earner at Chelsea
Given that the Spain international is the third-highest paid player at Chelsea - behind Eden Hazard and Diego Costa - on a cool £160,000 a week, Conte believes it’s in the best interests of everyone is Fabregas leaves the club, initially on a temporary basis.
He almost joined AC Milan in August
It’s also been revealed by The Times that Fabregas came close to joining AC Milan on loan on transfer deadline day in August.
However, the deal collapsed at the last minute following a disagreement over the percentage of the player’s wages Chelsea were prepared to pay.
Chelsea fans: is loaning out Cesc Fabregas a good move or a bad one? Have your say by leaving a comment below.