Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho admits a move away from Stamford Bridge for Mohamed Salah in January could prompt the club to enter the transfer market.
Salah, 22, moved to Stamford Bridge in January 2014 despite Liverpool's prolonged efforts to sign him but has been a marginal figure at the club this season.
The Egyptian international has made just three appearances for the Blues this term and his chances of turning that around look slim after he remained on the bench in Chelsea's 5-0 thrashing of Swansea on Saturday, despite being 4-0 up at half time.
Queens Park Rangers manager Harry Redknapp has already revealed his interest in the winger while Serie A duo Roma and Inter Milan have also been credited with strong interest.
But Mourinho insists the only scenario that will see Salah leave the club in January will be if someone else comes into replace him, something the manager has already ruled out.
"He can't leave. I have 20 players today," Mourinho said, London 24 report.
"Didier Drogba was ill, Cesar Azpilicueta injured. I have a short squad. For Salah to leave we need someone to come.
"I don't think we are going to let Salah go on loan. If that happened we would have to spend money to bring someone else in, so I don't think he is going."
January 2014 was a busy month for Chelsea with both Juan Mata and Kevin de Bruyne leaving the club as Salah and Nemanja Matic arrived.
But Mourinho is adamant this year he is happy with his current options.
He told reporters on Friday: "At this moment I keep saying the same I am happy with the squad, we have a good group to play football but also a good group to live together. I don't want to lie to you."