Ghana defender Baba Rahman's hopes of returning to Chelsea next season is hanging by a thread as they Blues are closing in on signing Germany left-back Jonas Hector.
Rahman, who is on loan to German side Schalke for one season, plays in a similar position as Hector.
Bookmakers are already declaring that Hector's signing is in the offing. You can visit topratedbettingsites.co.uk UK's #1 betting site ranking giving further odds on the English Premier League matches and issues surrounding transfers with the August 31 transfer deadline looming.
With Chelsea coach Antonio Conte declaring the Ghanaian surplus to requirements this season it was thought a year away with Schalke will prepare Rahman for a place at Chelsea on his return.
However, Conte's quest for £20m move for the 26-year-old Germany international looks like he is looking beyond Rahman for a permanent solution to his left-back problems.
Cesar Azpilicueta remains Chelsea's first choice left-back while talented youngsters Ola Aina is seen as the back-up for the latter.
The arrival of Hector will now push Rahman further down the pecking order even if he returns to Chelsea for the start of next season.
The Ghanaian might have to pursue other opportunities in clubs in England or the Bundesliga to help foster his young career.
Hector signed a new deal at current club FC Cologne just last week, but that hasn't prevented Chelsea in their pursuit.
Meanwhile, Cameroon star Eric Choupo-Moting has lauded the capture of Rahman by his German side Shalke insisting the Ghanaian is a great addition.
Rahman joined the German giants on a year loan from Chelsea a few weeks ago and has since been training with them in the pre-season.
Despite being criticized for his outing at Chelsea, the Cameroonian star says hugely admires the Ghana international for his play during the 2015 Afcon in Equatorial Guinea as well as his playing days at Chelsea.
Rahman was part of the Ghana squad that was beaten on penalties at the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations final against Ivory Coast.
"As a Cameroonian, I've tracked him at the African Cup closer, he managed to get into the Black Stars line up for the final game against Cote d’Ivoire,” Choupo-Moting said.
"He is a talented player. I can’t imagine working side by side with him in the same team,” he added.
Schalke's coach Markus Weinzierl has also hailed Rahman's performances as a player with 'excellent attitude' after the youngster made his debut for the German side.
The left-back sealed a one-season loan from Chelsea early this week after to boost his playing chances.
This came after the new coach of the English side Antonio Conte hinted that the Ghanaian is not among his first choice at the left-back of the Blues.
Baba made his debut for the Bundesliga side on Thursday during their 2-1 friendly victory over Bologna.
Impressed over Baba's display on Thursday, Weinzierl, who worked with Baba while he was on loan at Augsburg, is happy with the attitude of the Ghanaian ace.
"Abdul is a strong attacking left back, one who I have a lot of faith in. He will fit in well here, because of his excellent attitude," said Schalke's coach Weinzierl.
Rahman, 22, played under Weinzierl in the 2014/15 season at Augsburg before sealing the move to Chelsea.
The Ghanaian joined Chelsea in 2015 and made 15 Premier League appearances for the Blues and four in the UEFA Champions League.