Gary Cahill has held talks with interim Chelsea boss Guus Hiddink after reiterating his desire to play first-team football.
Cahill signed a new four-year deal on December 2 but has fallen down the pecking order at Stamford Bridge following the sacking of Jose Mourinho and Hiddink’s arrival.
His sole Premier League start under the Dutchman came in the 2-2 draw against Watford on Boxing Day and Cahill is eager to get more playing time with one eye on his England place ahead of the European Championship in France.
The 30-year-old told several national newspapers: “It’s all about me playing for Chelsea.
“The bottom line is that I am very happy here, and I extended my contract for those reasons. My family and everything is settled here, I’ve had loads of success.
“I want to keep that going. I don’t want to be stale. I’m 30. I’ve got a good few years left in me yet.”
Cahill has spoken with Hiddink about his situation.
“I did have a good chat,’ added the former Bolton Wanderers centre-half.
“I feel like it was old baggage brought to him because he has only just walked through the door and for me, like a lot of other players, from day one this season, there’s a bigger picture.
“It was a good conversation, he was very approachable. I thought it was beneficial, very positive. I think from all that stuff that came out, obviously I want to be at the club, I signed a four-year contract a couple of months ago.
“That shows I want to be here, I am settled here, have had a lot of success here and my family is settled here but ultimately I feel I need to play football matches.
“I have always been that way. It has always been in my make up to play a high percentage of games. I realise that sometimes things go well and sometimes they don’t. But it is very important for me I feel personally, even selfishly, the need to be playing football matches.
“You will never change me. I think it is a positive thing. You get people criticising people who are happy to sit on the bench, picking up money.
“That’s certainly not me, I want to be out there and being a big part of things if I possibly can, realising that everyone else is playing well as well.
“Ever since I have been at Chelsea, there has been a lot of rotation. When I first came, there was me, Branislav Ivanovic, David Luiz, John Terry and now Kurt Zouma has come in.
“There’s always been that element because of the amount of competitions we are in, and number of games you play.
“We rotate but you get a vision or picture of what’s going on, how you feel.
“When you’ve been up there with 85-90 per cent of games, this season has been slightly different.”