Patrick Bamford admitted it was a hard decision to leave MK Dons at the end of his loan spell, but feels he has to do it to further his career.
The 20 year old will return to parent club Chelsea after Saturday’s FA Cup third round game with Wigan, with a host of Championship clubs vying for his services for the remainder of the season.
Although his destination is still unknown, Bamford said he leaves stadium:mk with a heavy heart.
He said: “I don’t think there has been a definite decision made yet. There are a few clubs sniffing about, but I haven’t spoken to Chelsea about it yet.
“I think we’re halfway there, but it’s not confirmed.
“I think I’m ready for it. Scoring goals grabs the attention, but my overall game has improved so I’m excited to test myself again.
“It was a hard decision, especially with Karl. He has put so much work into me. I wanted to be loyal to him, because he’s helped me push on.
“I feel bad about leaving, but speaking to Chelsea, they want me to be ready for their first team and the only way I’m going to be able to do that is to play at a higher level. I had to do it really.
“Milton Keynes have given me a foundation to try and push on and be where I want to be. I can’t thank the fans and the people at the club enough.
“Whether it be the physios and fitness staff, obviously the manager and Gary - they’ve put a tremendous amount of work into me.
“And every Saturday, or midweek game, the fans have cheered me no end, so I want to say thank you to them.”
Bamford, who has scored 16 goals for Dons this season, was given an emotional send-off from the stadium:mk crowd at full time after the 0-0 draw with Colchester on New Year’s Day - something the striker admitted he wasn’t used to.
“It’s hard to sum up,” he said. “Being only 20 and having not really experienced any first team football until my time here, I don’t think I’ve experienced a send off.
“To have that many people clapping me and singing my name, it was very emotional.
“I wasn’t sure what to do, I was just going to applaud the whole stadium. But Dean (Lewington) told me to go and milk it and take the appreciation.”
But with the Championship beckoning for him, Bamford hopes to one day pull on the Three Lions shirt for his performances at Stamford Bridge.
He said: “I’d like to think I can get in the England team and play for Chelsea.
“Playing for the U21s is a step towards that, so if I can build on that, play in the Championship and keep up this form, and keep scoring, then you never know.”