Didier Drogba has fanned the flames of speculation surrounding his Chelsea future after suggesting the last six months have been the toughest of his career.
The 30-year-old striker is currently serving a three-match domestic ban following the violent conduct charge which followed his coin-throwing incident in a Carling Cup defeat to Burnley earlier in the month.
On Wednesday, Drogba's Stamford Bridge future was thrown into fresh doubt following claims, which he refused to deny, that he had held a meeting with officials from Internazionale over a potential move to Serie A.
The Ivory Coast striker refused to deny a meeting had taken place with the club now managed by former Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho, which led to further speculation that he is seeking to move on.
Drogba's season has been undermined by knee problems and the controversial striker was surprisingly omitted from the starting line-up for Wednesday's 1-1 Champions League draw with Bordeaux.
And it is this lack of action coupled with his disciplinary problems - ranging from the violent conduct change to his sending-off in last season's Champions League Final defeat to Manchester United - which have led Drogba to issue a frank assessment of his current state of mind.
"This has been the toughest six months of my career," he said.
"But I've been through difficult moments before, so I know how to get myself out of these.
"It's been difficult, but I can't lose and I won't lose my happiness. It's not possible.
"That's what gives me the power on the pitch and the energy to score and to play.
"You always have to learn and I'm learning every day from different situations: from this coin situation, from the red card in the Champions League. I'm always learning."