Marko Marin admits he is unlikely to have a future at Chelsea, but says he turned down a lucrative move to the Middle East last summer because he is still determined to prove himself at the top level of European football.
Having signed to the London club from Werder Bremen for £7 million in the summer of 2012, Marin has made just 16 appearances in all competitions for Chelsea in four years and spent much of his time on loan with Sevilla, Fiorentina, Anderlecht and now Trabzonspor.
Hampered by injuries, Marin has scored just one goal in 14 appearances for the Turkish Super Lig club this season. He is contracted to Chelsea until June 2017 but concedes that while his parent club continue to monitor his progress closely, his long-term future is likely to be elsewhere.
"Chelsea take care of me," Marin told kicker. "Whatever I need in whatever situation I am in: I know Chelsea are there for me. They follow every match I play, and send me an analysis of my performance in every match.
"Chelsea are very pleased with my season. Representatives of the club come here two, three times a season and talk to those in charge, and see how things go for me.
"[My contact at Chelsea is] Paulo Ferreira. I have played with him, and he is responsible for me. We talk regularly on Skype, once, maybe twice a month, and also write each other. That makes you feel better. It's not like Chelsea just sends you somewhere. I always picked my [loan] clubs."
Asked if he feels as if he can fight his way back into Chelsea's first-team plans, Marin replied: "It's difficult. You not only need a few good matches at Trabzon, but a very strong year. You never know, but right now it does not look like it."
Despite his scepticism over resuming his career at Stamford Bridge, Marin insists he has no regrets about agreeing to join Chelsea and believes he still has a lot to offer another ambitious European club if he moves on.
"I personally thought that it's about time to make the next step," Marin said of his decision to move to west London. "I joined Chelsea and the pre-season was super, until I sustained an injury. [I got] a muscle bundle tear [and was] out for three months. That makes it difficult... I have learned a lot, and have never rued making this step.
"My career only starts now. I am in the best age for a footballer. I have collected a lot of experience, lived in London, Seville, Florence, Brussels, got to know many new languages and leagues. I could have left for the UAE last summer but I want to show my worth in Europe, and I am on a good path."