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Sarri confirms he has no need for Gary Cahill

But the final decision rests in the Arsenal-linked defender’s and the club’s hands

Chelsea v PAOK - UEFA Europa League - Group L Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images

Gary Cahill’s Chelsea career continues to wind down. The center back who is still Chelsea’s official captain (although it’s César Azpilicueta who wears the armband most days) is a week shy of his 33rd birthday and possibly a month shy of leaving Chelsea. Cahill has the club’s permission to seek a loan move in January, and could also be released early from his contract if he chooses to leave on a permanent basis (in a similar move to what was afforded Branislav Ivanović two years ago).

Earlier in the season, Gary had expressed interest in seeing out his contract and maybe helping the club to another Europa League or domestic cup trophy, but his prospects have diminished a bit since and his playing time is trending downwards (he’s fourth, at best, in the pecking order, now behind Andreas Christensen as well).

In his pre-match press conference ahead of Thursday’s game against Vidi FC, Maurizio Sarri confirmed that he basically has no need for the man who’s won it all. (Cahill’s set to miss the game through some random injury regardless.)

“I respect him very much because he has won everything with this club, [but] then I have to do my job.

“[...] Maybe he is the best in the box, but our defenders may play 100 or 110 balls in a match so I need defenders very technically. It is not my decision, but it is up to him and the club.

“For the over-30 [players] the club usually offers only one year of contract. If he has an offer of three years, he can of course choose something [else at a different club]. It doesn’t depend if I am sentimental or not.”

-Maurizio Sarri; source: Metro

Where next for the 6-year Chelsea veteran?

The strongest links have been with AC Milan, who continue to be linked with numerous Chelsea players these days. Less believable stories claim that he’s on Arsenal’s shortlist of potential January reinforcements. One would imagine that most teams in England’s top two divisions could find room for him. Either way, it’s time to start saying our goodbyes, if we haven’t already done so.

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