Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti has told Russia international wing-back Yuri Zhirkov to improve to secure a long-term future at Stamford Bridge.
The 27-year-old struggled during his first season with the Blues following his arrival from CSKA Moscow and recently hinted that he may move on as early as next January.
However, Ancelotti is determined to keep Zhirkov, while driving him on to challenge for a regular starting spot.
The Italian told reporters:"I don't need to speak with him about the future. That is because his future is here with Chelsea.
"He is a good player. He knows in this club, in the top teams, there is a lot of competition to play and for this reason he has to improve.
"But I think that he will have the possibility to play a lot of games this year, because we are involved in a lot of competitions. We need to have all the players fit and ready to play."
The versatile Zhirkov had earlier stated:"I'll certainly get a chance in the next few months and I'll try to use it.
"Then, in the winter, everything will probably depend on whether I get a chance and how I use it.
"Chelsea are currently in brilliant form and getting past Florent Malouda and Ashley Cole is the problem. You can be on the bench for a long time, but I will definitely get a chance."