Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri has reiterated that he does not have a place in his squad for midfielder Danny Drinkwater, adding that only Drinkwater can decide on his future.
Drinkwater, who was instrumental in guiding Leicester City to their unlikely Premier League triumph in 2016, has barely been seen since Maurizio Sarri arrived at Chelsea. The Italian has preferred the likes of Mateo Kovacic, Ross Barkley and Ruben Loftus-Cheek, with Drinkwater regularly failing to make the matchday squad.
Speaking ahead of Leicester's visit to Stamford Bridge, Sarri insisted that Drinkwater is free to leave the club as he does not have a place for him in his tactic. He is quoted by the BBC as saying: "I think for him the problem is only my football.
"He's a very good midfielder but he is suitable for a midfield two because with a three he is not really a central midfielder or suitable for centre right or centre left."
Sarri was then asked about Drinkwater's future at the club. He added: "I don't know. It depends on the club, it's up to him."
Alongside his midfield partner N'Golo Kante, Drinkwater was in inspired form to guide the Foxes to the 2015/16 Premier League title. Drinkwater followed Kante to Stamford Bridge, with former manager Antonio Conte seemingly seeing a place for the Englishman in his squad.
However, Sarri's arrival at the club brought an end to Conte's 3-4-3 tactic. Instead, he favours a 4-3-3 and insisted that Drinkwater is not suitable for his preferred style of play.
The midfielder was given 30 minutes of Chelsea's Community Shield loss to Manchester City, but has not been seen since. He has been named on the substitutes' bench just twice, but was unused on both occasions.
Several clubs have been linked with a move for Drinkwater. West Ham, Southampton and Crystal Palace were all said to be keen on the 28-year-old during the summer, whilst Fulham have also been linked in recent weeks.