Emerson Palmieri has been sent a warning by Italy manager Roberto Mancini that staying at Chelsea could seriously hurt his international career.
The left-back has figured seven times for the senior side and made his debut under Mancini back in 2018, less than a year after moving to Stamford Bridge from Roma.
Brazilian-born Emerson initially struggled for game time at Chelsea before breaking into the team and displacing Marcos Alonso on the left flank.
He went on to make 27 appearances in all competitions for the Blues last season.
And Emerson made a further 18 games this term, prior to the season being suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Alonso, though, regained his place in the backline under Frank Lampard before football was brought to a halt across Europe.
Emerson Palmieri has been in and out of the Chelsea team under Frank Lampard
It leaves Emerson in a difficult position regarding whether he leaves Chelsea in search of more guaranteed first-team game time.
Mancini has now encouraged him to do so due to the competition for a place in his position.
Remaining in west London could see Emerson miss out on a spot in Italy’s squad for the Euros in 2021, following the tournament’s suspension from this summer.
Addressing a few of the defenders at his disposal, Mancini told Gazzetta dello Sport: “As for the full-backs, we knew Adam Masina, although he disappeared from the radar a bit after his move to Watford.
Emerson Palmieri worked his way into the Italy national team set-up after joining Chelsea from Roma
“Luca Pellegrini already spent time with the senior squad and can improve.
“It would be nice if Emerson Palmieri, who hasn’t played much for Chelsea, could come and play in Italy.”
Emerson cost Chelsea more than £20m, if you include bonuses, back in January 2018.
And the Blues would likely be reluctant to make a loss on…