Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has suggested that captain John Terry will have to fight for his place in the squad.
The former England skipper, who was a regular starter for Mourinho during his three-year spell from 2004 to 2007, spent the majority of the season on the bench under interim manager Rafael Benitez.
"I am a coach who looks for a meritocracy," Mourinho told The Mirror. "Whoever I think is best must play, without looking at status or the past. You play as you train, it is a normal situation.
"As it was normal for me to leave [Marco] Materazzi, a mythical player at Inter Milan, on the bench. Or like Benitez this year at Chelsea with Terry. The fans can think that Iker is better than Diego [Lopez]. I accept that, but I am the coach. If they play or not, that is a problem for the player."
Mourinho signed a four-year contract at Stamford Bridge this week.