Frank Lampard understands Fikayo Tomori's desire to play more regularly amid speculation the centre-back could be set to follow Danny Drinkwater in sealing a move away from the club.
Tomori made 15 Premier League starts in the 2019-20 season but the arrival of Thiago Silva has pushed him further down the first-team pecking order.
The England international has featured only once in the top flight this campaign – coming on as substitute in the home defeat to Liverpool back in September – and Chelsea are seemingly ready to sanction a temporary move to allow him to get more regular first-team minutes elsewhere.
Serie A leaders Milan have been strongly linked with the 23-year-old, media reports suggesting the Italian club are pushing to complete a deal that includes an option to buy.
"Fikayo is a developing player. We can't play all our centre backs in one game," said Lampard.
"This year we have five, so the predicament is difficult. He wants to play regularly and that's why he may go out on loan.
"He has made big strides in the last two or three seasons."
Meanwhile, Drinkwater has departed to join Kasimpasa on loan for the remainder of the 2020-21 season.
The midfielder was signed by the Blues from Leicester City in August 2017, though he has featured sparingly during his time at Stamford Bridge.
A key part of Claudio Ranieri's Leicester squad that won the league title in 2016, Drinkwater has made a total of 23 appearances for Chelsea in all competitions.
His 2019-20 season included unproductive loan spells at Burnley and Aston Villa, but now the 30-year-old will hope to kick-start his career during a temporary stint in Turkey.
"It's great for Danny to leave to go and play for himself to get some games. I am trying to make sure the balance is right here," said Lampard.
Kasimpasa sit 15th in the Super Lig table, six points above the relegation zone.