Chelsea are reportedly angry at Everton's treatment of Christian Atsu and are set to recall him from his loan spell with the Toffees.
According to the Mirror, the Ghana winger, who is on a season-long loan with the Merseyside club has just started three matches in all competitions and could be recalled and loaned to another Premier League club during the January transfer window.
Atsu, who signed for Chelsea in 2013 from Portuguese club Porto spent the whole of last season on-loan at Dutch club Vitesse, where he made 25 appearances throughout the season.
He is now struggling to get regular game time under Roberto Martinez and this has angered the Stamford Bridge hierarchy, who are thinking of bringing the Ghanaian back to the club.
The report claims that Premier League rivals Sunderland are interested in the former Porto player and if Chelsea do bring him back from Everton, they will be free to sign him on loan during the upcoming transfer window.
However, Toffees boss Martinez is aware of the lack of game time for the Chelsea player, but had revealed earlier in the season that the winger has taken time to adjust to the physical nature of the league, but he is confident that Atsu will be a key player for Everton in the second half of the season.
"We need to give him a little bit of time to adapt to the physicality of the Premier League just like any player but especially a winger," Martinez said, as quoted by the Daily Mail.
"In other leagues referees allow less contact and they are a bit more protected. But I think the way he has adapted to the way we want to play so far has been impressive. He's an intelligent footballer."
"It's just making sure I can give him the right introduction to his role. With the minutes he's had so far in the Europa League and other games he's done well. I expect him to be himself in the second half of the season and he can be a very important player for us," the former Wigan Athletic manager added.