Chelsea midfielder Oriol Romeu has hit back at rumours that he is ready to quit Stamford Bridge and push for a move back to Spain in the January transfer window.
Romeu has become a fringe player at Chelsea during Roberto Di Matteo's reign, with his fleeting first team chances sparking speculation that he may return to former club Barcelona or even secure a move to another Spanish club, with Valencia said to be targeting in securing the services of the 21-year-old.
Yet Romeu has insisted he is content to bide his time and wait for his chance to shine with the European champions, as he prepares for a rare first team outing in the Capital One Cup tie against Manchester United on Wednesday evening.
"It isn't frustrating," he told the Chelsea website, when quizzed about his lengthy spells warming the substitutes' bench. "You have to be relaxed. If you get frustrated you lose your mind, you don't train well and won't be prepared.
"I learned last season that when you're not playing, you have to stay focused and wait. If you fight for your place, it will come and in the end you play more. I have to wait until the chance comes and I am trying to be ready and get my body fit for when I can go onto the pitch and play. That's important for me. Wednesday night against United may be a good chance to show that I am ready to play for Chelsea."
Romeu has played just seven minutes of Premier League football this season, with his only start coming in the Capital One Cup tie against Wolves last month.
His public declaration insisting he is content to fight for his place at Chelsea will send out the right message to boss Di Matteo, yet Romeu accepts he is unlikely to claim a spot in the Blues line-up any time soon.
"John Obi Mikel and Ramires are both playing well, the team is having a great season so far and the results have been going well for us, which is the most important thing," he said. "When you have players like that in front of you, you just have to wait, and the chance always comes so you just have to be ready.
"For me, every minute I can play in every competition is important, it doesn't matter which one, you just want to play well and enjoy your football. This competition (Capital One Cup) can give minutes to people who are not playing regularly, and it lets you show the manager that he can put you on the pitch."
Romeu is expecting a red hot atmosphere in the Capital One cup tie against United at Stamford Bridge, following an explosive league meeting between the two sides last Sunday.
"Manchester United is always a big match, but after what happened at the weekend, losing with nine men, there will be a big atmosphere in the stadium," added the midfielder. "We are very motivated to go out and do our job, and win the match."