Kevin Phillips fears Aston Villa will be stuck with Danny Drinkwater until the season is completed.
The former England international, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, believes Dean Smith will be keen for the player to return to Chelsea as soon as possible but suggests that possible may be the end of the season.
The 30-year-old has struggled since arriving on loan in January – a torrid run of form seeing them fall to 19th place in the Premier League.
Drinkwater’s future at the club was in doubt the week prior to the suspension of the Premier League.
A training ground altercation with teammate Jota seeing him sent home immediately by manager Dean Smith.
However, as revealed by Football Insider, FIFA is considering the introduction of new emergency measures which would restrict player movement until the season is completed.
When asked by Football Insider if this would be a troubling outcome for Dean Smith, Phillips said: “Villa will let him return to Chelsea as soon as they can but a rule may come in where they have to keep the player because the season has been extended. I cannot see them relaxing the rules.
“When we do restart they will keep the rules as if we were still playing now. So he will be on loan until whenever this season finishes.
“Unfortunately for Villa, they are going to be stuck with Danny.”
The former England international, who spent the first half of the season at Burnley, has featured four times for the Claret and Blues.
Drinkwater has so far failed to recapture the form which saw him lift the Premier League title with Leicester City in 2016.
In other Aston Villa news, it can be REVEALED Everton are lining up a sensational swoop for 24-year-old this summer.