Fabio Capello still hopes Gonzalo Higuain can be a success at AC Milan, but he fears the forward will leave San Siro to play for a coach who can get the best out of him.
Higuain joined Milan from Juventus on a season-long loan ahead of the Serie A campaign but has failed to show his best goalscoring form - netting just eight times in 21 outings in all competitions - and rumours persist of a mid-season switch to Chelsea.
Maurizio Sarri is in charge at Stamford Bridge and, like Capello at Real Madrid, has worked with the Argentina international previously while with Napoli, overseeing his record-breaking 36-goal Serie A campaign in 2015-16.
The former England manager believes Higuain may push for a departure if he feels Gennaro Gattuso cannot play to his strengths in Milan.
"I got the best out of [Higuain] at Real Madrid," Capello told Rai Radio. "I think he has been burdened by that penalty miss against Juventus [in November]. I've seen him play too far away from goal.
"I hope that, for Milan's sake, he can overcome his mental block and score lots of goals between now and the end of the season. Higuain's quality isn't up for discussion.
"I remember when I joined Juventus and [David] Trezeguet wanted to leave. I told him to stay because he was important to me. My feeling, though, is that Higuain wants to go and play under a coach who knows his qualities and can use them.
"Milan do not have anyone in the box. If Higuain plays like Higuain, there are not many players better than him. We must ask him what he wants to do, whether he plans to stay or not."
However, Capello does not believe a January move would suit Higuain or Milan, advising the player to hang on until the end of the season.
"In my opinion, this is not the right time for anyone," Capello told Tuttosport. "These are decisions that are to be made in the summer - not now."