Chelsea manager Antonio Conte says recuperating defender Baba Rahman needs more time to regain full fitness.
The Ghana fullback has been out of action since picking up an injury at last year’s Africa Cup of Nations in January.
Initially expected back on the pitch after seven months, a series of relapses continue to keep him out of contention for game time.
“Baba is recovering from a bad injury,” Conte told pressmen on Friday.
“I had the possibility to see him in training with us only once or twice.
“He wasn’t ready to have a full training session with us.
“Now he is recovering and it could be an interesting option for the player, to try to recover with them.
“For sure, he is not ready in this moment to play, otherwise Baba Rahman would stay with us in my squad.”
German side Schalke, with whom Baba was on loan before his injury, have expressed interest in having him back at Veltins-Arena when he regains full fitness.
English outfits Everton and Newcastle United are reportedly also eyeing a move for the fullback, while Turkish giants Galatasaray and Fenerbahce have also shown interest in the Black Star.
Baba joined Chelsea in 2015 but limited opportunities at Stamford Bridge prompted a switch to Schalke after playing 15 league games in his first season with the Blues.