Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri has urged wantaway midfielder Cesc Fabregas to stay with the club.
The 31-year-old has seen his role at Stamford Bridge reduced this season, as the off-season additions of Jorginho and Mateo Kovacic have pushed Fabregas down the pecking order.
Fabregas has made just five Premier League appearances this term and will be free to sign a pre-contract with a new team in January with his deal set to expire in June.
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The former Barcelona and Arsenal midfielder has also been linked with a move away in January, which would allow Chelsea to recoup a transfer fee.
However, Sarri is still hoping that Fabregas will stay with the club.
"In this position we have only two players, Jorginho and Fabregas, so for me it would be really a problem without Cesc," said Sarri.
"I want him to stay, I don't know the final decision of Cesc and the club of course.
"But for me it's very important and if Cesc will go I think that we need to buy another player, and it's not easy because, technically, Cesc is a very important player.
"And I think that in the market it's very difficult to find a player with his characteristics."
Chelsea have a policy to only offer one-year contract extensions to players over 30, which could be hindering them from locking down players like Fabregas.
When asked if he agreed with this policy, Sari replied: "Oh, it depends. It depends on the single situation, I think.
"It's a rule and so we have to respect that. As you know very well the big problem is the duration of the new contracts. Because, as you know, over 30 years the club offers only one year to renew.
"And for a player of 31, it's a big problem to sign a new contract for only one year. So, the problem is only this."
Chelsea currently sit fourth in the Premier League, two points clear of fifth-placed Arsenal.
The Blues are back in action on Sunday with a league clash against Crystal Palace as they look to close out their 2018 schedule in style.