Ryan Bertrand (R)
Ryan Bertrand Reuters

Chelsea defender Ryan Bertrand has dropped a major hint that he could leave Stamford Bridge in the summer if he fails to become the first choice left-back.

The England international saw his appearances being restricted at the west London club, making only one Premier League appearance under Jose Mourinho in the first half of the season.

The 24-year-old joined Aston Villa on-loan in January for the rest of the season. Lack of playing time has seen Bertrand join Villa for the remainder of the season. The left-back has been a regular inclusion at Villa Park, making eight league starts so far at Paul Lambert's side.

Bertrand will return to Chelsea in the summer and revealed that he will consider his options if he fails to get assurances of playing regularly under the former Real Madrid manager.

"It's flattering to hear what Jose Mourinho said but there's no more waiting around for me in terms of wanting to be a Chelsea player. Come the summer I need to be the No.1 left-back, wherever that will be," the Express quoted Bertrand as saying.

"I have ambitions but I have to be realistic as well. I will sit down and consider all my options. Staying here isn't something I would rule out. I've had years of playing but since I was 17 I have been on loan, basically.

"I've spent the past few years at Chelsea, in and out of the team, and the experience I've gained from that is I'm happy just playing. That's what it comes down to in football. If you're getting the respect from your peers that you deserve, that means a lot," the left-back stressed.

Chelsea have the services of Ashley Cole as the first choice left-back in the squad. The former Arsenal defender has dropped down the pecking order as Mourinho has preferred Cesar Azpilicueta ahead of the England international this season.

Meanwhile, the Blues have long been linked with a move in signing Southampton star Luke Shaw. The Mirror claims Chelsea will seal the deal for the left-back before the start of the World Cup.