Wilkins makes the case for Fabregas to stay

Lifelong Chelsea man Ray Wilkins has urged his former club to keep hold of Cesc Fabregas for next season's Champions League campaign.

The former Blues player and assistant manager is a big fan of the Catalan midfielder, who offers "guile and craft" even though he isn't a regular starter for Antonio Conte.

"You can't let him go," Wilkins told Sky Sports. "For Chelsea to progress to the latter stages of competitions next year, they are going to need the guile and craft I feel only he possesses at Chelsea.

"You will be playing in the Champions League next year and you need that craft, you need that experience of someone like Cesc.

"I just love it whether he comes on or whether he starts. For me, he's one of my favourites down there because he's just a pure footballer.

"I would be breaking my neck to get him to stay, to be perfectly honest. This guy can open up defences, not only with short passes. He has a fantastic range of passing all over the pitch and he's a valuable member of the squad."

"I can understand Antonio's selection when he picks [Nemanja] Matic and [N’Golo] Kante in front of a back five. But with Cesc, it's just job satisfaction and he loves to play football. You can see that when he plays. He's always trying to get on the ball.

"It's not a money issue – he just wants to play. He will get that opportunity next year, I just hope he has the patience."