Kurt Zouma is expecting to remain at Chelsea after being given assurances over his future, but has not closed the door entirely on a move away from Stamford Bridge.
The France international defender spent the 2018-19 campaign away from West London on loan at Everton.
He impressed while at Goodison Park, with Toffees boss Marco Silva expressing a desire to take the 24-year-old back to Merseyside.
Zouma has, however, been informed by new Chelsea boss Frank Lampard that there is a role for him with his parent club.
The Blues coach has said: “I want him here, simple as that. I want him to be happy. If he competes and plays well this season, he plays.”
Zouma has welcomed that show of faith and believes he will be staying put in the current transfer window, but admits he cannot rule anything out.
He told reporters: “I’m happy with what the manager said about me. That means he is seeing the work I’m doing and I’m very pleased with that.
“We had a chat, and he was very good with me. He is a very good manager.
“I enjoyed my time at Everton but I’m a Chelsea player and we’ll see what will happen now in the future. I think it will be here at Chelsea.
“This is a chance for me. I went out on loan last season but I’m a Chelsea player and I want to do well to get my chance and be here.”
On his spell at Everton, which delivered 36 appearances and two goals, Zouma added: “It was a very good season for me. It was very good for my development. After my injury I was ready to play week-in week-out.
“Going there I did that and improved myself technically and tactically in every aspect with the manager there. I am a better player.
“Everything has improved in my game. I still have a lot to learn and to work on but I feel I have done a lot.”
Zouma is, however, aware that he faces fierce competition for places at Chelsea, with the likes of David Luiz, Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen also hoping to secure centre-half berths.
“There is a lot of quality here,” said the Frenchman.
“It depends on the manager. He can only play with two centre-backs. He has to make the choice but he is lucky because he has good players. It will be hard for him to make that choice but that is what we’re here for.”
Zouma is determined to find regular football due to a desire on his part to add to the collection of five senior caps he has earned for his country.
He added: “That is very important for me. It was one of my targets to get into the France team. I had been there before and wanted to come back.
“I managed to do that. Now the target is to play at the Euros – but to be there you have to be playing at your club.
“So I am working very hard – and let’s see what is going to happen.”
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