Mahamadou Diarra's future at Fulham appears bleak after Martin Jol revealed he is expected to miss the rest of the season with injury.
Diarra has not featured for the Cottagers this year and is facing a third operation on a persistent knee problem which has hindered his progress at club.
The 31-year-old former Real Madrid midfielder, whose contract expires in the summer, has made just eight appearances for the Londoners this term.
Diarra has not featured since December 1 last year and manager Jol said: "It is still painful. I think it will be quite complicated without an operation to get him going and fit again.
"We need to sit down and talk to the surgeon and make a decision, but I think he will out for the next couple of months.
"He was the main man last year when he came in. He gave us a boost again and was one of the most important players.
"It was quite a boost for us to get a player of his quality, but you have to be fit. If he isn't fit he can do nothing for us."