AC Milan may have to consider giving more minutes to Tiemoue Bakayoko to ensure their relationship with Chelsea stays intact.
According to Calciomercato, Milan fear they could break their bond with the Blues by barging Bakayoko out of the way.
The midfielder has suffered dearly since his loan move from Stamford Bridge to the San Siro last summer.
This trip to Italy was the last of four loan spells for the Frenchman.
His first was actually in Milan as well, before returning to Monaco for a season.
He was swiftly shunted back to Serie A in the colours of Napoli, ahead of his second-stint with I Rossoneri.
Bakayoko maligned by Milan
It’s fair to say nothing has worked out for Bakayoko following his £40m transfer to Chelsea in 2017.
Maurizio Sarri certainly didn’t want him, and clearly neither do any of his Italian club compatriots.
Milan apparently do not wish to sign the 28-year-old permanently, having already attempted to cut his deal short.
However, they will be obliged to buy Bakayoko if he makes 15 appearances of at least 45-minutes over a two-year period for the red and blacks.
He is currently on seven, but is yet to play at all this term.
Milan might be attempting to run down his contract by keeping him on the bench permanently.
However, this tactic may risk angering Chelsea and therefore damaging any transfer ties between the two sides.
This may be especially detrimental to the Italians, as they are apparently interested in at least three members of Graham Potter’s squad.
Hakim Ziyech, Christian Pulisic and Ruben Loftus-Cheek have all been mentioned as targets of Fikayo Tomori’s employers.
Ziyech and Pulisic are the more likely of the trio to depart South West London in January.