Roberto Di Matteo is unsure if Florent Malouda will play for Chelsea again, but insists the players have accepted his decision to remove the midfielder from his first-team plans.
Malouda has not been involved for Chelsea so far this season and last week he was omitted from the holders' squad for the group phase of the UEFA Champions League.
The Frenchman subsequently revealed on Twitter that he is now training with the Under 21s after failing to secure a move away from Stamford Bridge before the transfer window closed.
A similar situation occurred last season when former boss Andre Villas-Boas banished Alex and Nicolas Anelka from the first-team squad, which reportedly led to some players being unhappy.
However, Di Matteo played down comparisons between the two situations after saying Chelsea have to look after their own interests.
"They have accepted the decision that has been made by us, and they're just going to focus on their targets for this season," said the Chelsea manager.
"Over the past, there's been some expression of the player to part company, but it hasn't happened.
"So we've moved forward, brought in other players and they're the ones we're going to work with this season.
"It was a combined decision between me and the club. It's obviously not an extremely positive message or decision for him, but I guess, at the end, we have to look after our own interests and that's the decision we've taken."
Asked if Malouda had played his last game for Chelsea, Di Matteo added: "I don't know, only the future will tell. But he's with the Under 21s.
"The transfer window doesn't open again until January."