Chelsea loanee Patrick Bamford has already made the decision to end his loan spell at Crystal Palace and return to Stamford Bridge. The 22-year-old played the entire second half of Palace's goalless draw with Swansea City on 28 December but his first-team opportunities at Selhurst Park have otherwise been limited.
Bamford has not started a single Premier League game for the club and in all competitions, he has been limited to just 226 minutes of playing time. He has previously described his season as "frustrating" and "upsetting".
While there is yet to be any official confirmation from either Palace or Chelsea, Bamford told the Croydon Advertiser he has already played his last game for the Eagles. "If I am being honest, my time at the club has been terrible. No one wants to sit on the bench and not play," he said.
"Things haven't worked out for whatever reason. I would have been more content if I had been given a chance and not taken it, but I haven't started a game in the Premier League. For a young player like me, that's not what you need so I had to take my development into consideration and make it the priority.
"It is my decision. The coaches have only found out I am going – I think the manager and the coaching staff already knew, people like the physiotherapists. So I have been saying goodbye. It was decision and I think I had to do it because I haven't been playing. For my development, it's crucial now I do play games."
Palace boss Alan Pardew appeared to be unaware that any decision over Bamford's loan deal had been taken, telling his post-match press conference: "It's a conversation we will have to have with Chelsea. It is not one we've had yet."
Bamford rose to prominence at Middlesbrough last season, scoring 17 goals for the club and winning the Championship player of the year award. The Teesside club have already expressed their interest in re-signing the England Under-21 international should he become available again, with manager Aitor Karanka revealing in December the door is always open for his return.