Chelsea manager Frank Lampard knows Ruben Loftus-Cheek needs to play games this season, either out on loan or in his team.
The 24-year-old has battled his way back from an Achilles tendon injury, with a return to regular action then delayed by the coronavirus shutdown.
Aston Villa and Southampton have both been linked with a loan move for the midfielder, who has 10 England caps.
Lampard maintains Loftus-Cheek is held in the highest regard at Chelsea but finds himself in a difficult position in terms of current opportunities.
“I am very open with Ruben. We have had a couple of conversations in the last week. He is fit as a fiddle so he could play week in, week out, but he needs to play,” said Lampard.
“He has done a lot of work now and would have been playing a lot of games earlier if it wasn’t for lockdown and Project Restart.
“There is a possibility Ruben might go out (on loan) to play games because I think that would be great for him.
“We hold him in very high regard here, I certainly do, and that could be a good option for him.
“But if it’s not the right option, he will be competitive in this squad as well because of the qualities he has and hopefully be a big plus for us, so I am relaxed about it.
“But I want to find the best path for Ruben and I want to find the best path for us, so at the minute we will see with the week we have got ahead of us.”