Chelsea manager Antonio Conte suggests Baba Rahman should take the "great opportunity" to continue his recovery from a long-term injury at Schalke rather than at Stamford Bridge.
Rahman, 23, spent last season on loan at the German side but saw his campaign ended early after a serious knee injury during the Africa Cup of Nations in January 2017 ruled him out for the rest of the year.
Now back in training in west London, Schalke have to strike another deal to bring the Ghana international to the Veltins-Arena during the January transfer window. Their sporting director Christian Heidel spoke confidently on Thursday [11 January] of striking a deal with the Blues, believing they will have no issues over convincing Rahman to return to Germany.
And speaking at a press conference ahead of his side's Premier League clash with Leicester City, Conte conceded that may be Rahman's best option.
"Baba is recovering from a bad injury, I had the possibility to see him in training with us maybe once or twice and he wasn't ready to have a full training session. Now he is recovering and it could be an interesting option for the player to try and recover with them [Schalke], Baba is recovering, he is not ready to play otherwise Baba would stay with us in my squad."
While the club have already brought Ross Barkley to the club from Everton this month, Conte is keen to see his squad sufficiently strengthened for the second half of the season. With the Chelsea board overseeing transfers, Conte's hands are largely tied in the transfer market but hopes his recommendations are being observed.
When asked if there will be more signings to follow Barkley, he said: "I don't know, as I said before, the club knows very well my opinion, I think this is the best way, to speak with the club to give my opinion if we need other players to improve the number of the squad. But as you know, the club has to decide. The final decision is with the club, not for me."