Cesc Fabregas has revealed he maintains the hope that his performances will convince Chelsea to offer him a new contract before season's end, but conceded he is unlikely to retire at Stamford Bridge.
Fabregas, 31, is enjoying life under the tutelage of Maurizio Sarri and despite finding himself down the pecking order after a knee injury disrupted his preparations for the current campaign, he still is of the mind that he has plenty to offer the club moving forward.
The Spaniard's current deal is set to expire at the end of the season and he is aware the decision is now squarely in the Blues' court.
“I’m very open about it," Fabregas told reporters, via Goal. “To be the honest, the club has not said anything. At the end of the day, I have eight months left and at the moment I’m gone. But I’d love to stay at the club. I’ve been very happy for the last four years and a half, we’ve had great success, won many things.
"I think I have a good understanding with the fans and players. I feel I still have a lot of football left in me, but it is now up to the club."
When asked if he envisaged his career coming to a close as a Chelsea player, he added: “No, I don’t think so. Probably in a few years I’d like to go away from Europe and experience something different at the later stage of my career. But, for now, I still feel really good."
The midfielder started in Chelsea's Europa League victory on Thursday but is expected to make way for Jorginho when the Blues make the journey to Southampton - it's an omission which is hard to take for Fabregas, but he revealed Sarri's style has reinvigorated him.
“I just came back from a difficult injury, I’m still sometimes feeling it a little bit. It is difficult to be sitting there and not helping the team when you know you could add something. This is part of the game, it’s still early for me," he said.
"I like it, everything goes through me. This is what I like. I feel sensations under Sarri that I never thought I would feel again. To be honest, touching the ball 100 times, all the play going through me or Jorginho is a very important role. I’m learning it, I’m very passionate about it as it’s very interesting.
"The way [Sarri] sees football is something that maybe in the future if I become a coach I think I’ll do something very similar to what he does. It’s what I like and how I see football. I’m learning a lot from him, it’s really interesting how he works and I’m really looking forward to working for a long time with him."
“I wish he came a bit earlier to be honest. It’s a little bit late now in my career. Definitely I’m very happy with him."
Previously Chelsea have maintained a policy which hands one-year extensions to players in the 30s, but it is yet to be seen whether Sarri views the situation similarly to those who came before him.