Argentina striker Hernan Crespo insists Chelsea hold the key to his future at Stamford Bridge after admitting he still misses much about life in Italy.
Crespo, who spent last season on loan with AC Milan, has two years left to run on his current Chelsea contract but there has been intense speculation that he will move back to Italy in the summer.
The 30-year-old is happy to stay for as long as the champions want him but the ultimate decision lies with the club.
“In the last four summers I have changed teams, so I don’t know what will happen next summer,” admitted Crespo.
“But I have another two years on my contract and I think I will stay here. But when I changed teams in the last four summers, I had contracts then as well.
“I’m sure it’s not my decision, it will be Chelsea’s decision. If they are very happy to keep me here then I will stay.”
Crespo, who cost Chelsea £16.8m when he joined them from Inter Milan in 2003, has been in exceptional form for Jose Mourinho’s side this season - scoring 12 goals in all competitions.
But he initially failed to settle in London and was shipped out on loan to AC Milan last season where he helped the Italians reach the final of the Champions League.
Despite scoring two goals in their 3-3 draw with Liverpool, Milan lost out on penalties and Crespo admits he remains homesick for Italy.
“I am homesick, but that is normal,” he said.
“I still feel like this, nothing has changed.
“I’m very happy to be here but homesick is homesick. I miss so many little things, but I’m a professional player and I play in a big team and I play in a team who have a lot of opportunity to win.
“My career maybe has another five years and if I have two years more here I don’t know how many teams permit me to play in a high level or allow me to win a lot of trophies like Chelsea. So why do I need to change?
“Maybe I need to support this homesickness. I’m very happy to be here. It’s Chelsea’s decision, not my decision.”
Crespo is pleased with his goal ratio after ’job sharing’ with Ivory Coast hitman Didier Drogba and he will be looking to add to his tally against Middlesbrough on Saturday.
Although the Argentinian makes no secret of the fact he would love to play more games, he says Mourinho made it very clear he would have to share the burden of goalscoring with his rival.
“What Mourinho said to me was very clear,” said Crespo. “He told me: ’I have two great strikers. Didier and you and I select one of you depending on the kind of match.’
“We share the matches and it’s good. Mourinho was clear about this situation. Now I have more space because Didier went to the African Cup but when the manager is clear, everything is clear.
“The most important thing is you win the trophy. If you win the trophy everything else is second. For me the most important thing is Chelsea. If Chelsea need me for five minutes or 90 minutes, I play. And that’s good.
“When Didier comes back we will start again. We have now two or three very hard months and we need everybody. It’s impossible for me or him to play all the matches.
“I scored a lot of goals in Italy but when you do that and don’t win anything, I don’t like it. I prefer to score less but win something important.”
Mourinho is adamant that Chelsea do not get the credit they deserve for the way they have dominated the Premiership in the last two seasons.
Crespo backed his manager’s assessment as well as leaping to the defence of Dutch winger Arjen Robben.
He was accused of getting Liverpool keeper Jose Reina sent off in their 2-0 win last Sunday by over-reacting to a push in the face.
But Crespo says he would much rather concentrate on why Reina lunged at Eidur Gudjohnsen with a bad tackle instead of Robben’s reaction.
He added: “Everybody spoke about Robben and it surprised me because they didn’t talk about this great match we played against a great team.
“I ask why Reina goes into a scissor tackle against Gudjohnsen, why he puts his hand in the face of Robben. I ask this question.”