Yossi Benayoun faces anxious wait over his future after Chelsea manager Rafa Benitez dropped a strong hint that he is no longer needed at Stamford Bridge.
The 32-year-old has returned to west London following a four-month loan spell at West Ham in which he made just six appearances.
And any hopes he may have had about forcing his way into the Blues' team for the rest of the season have been quickly quashed.
Benitez said: "He is here now but he's injured and he's working with the physios. We will see what happens.
"The question is how many players we have - we have six players in these positions. He's a very good player, no doubt about this, but again I would say we have six players in these positions. We have to manage the situation."
Benayoun, who also spent last season on loan at Arsenal, has a contract until June 2013 but under FIFA rules is able to negotiate with other clubs now.
Chelsea would almost certainly consider a free transfer if a club came in for him, but so far there are no firm talks.