According to reports in The Times, Chelsea are ready to offer midfielder Cesc Fabregas, who is rated at £31.5m by Transfermarkt, a new deal amid renewed interest in the Spaniard from Premier League rivals Manchester United.
Well, The Times says that while the 30-year-old has 18 months left on his current contract, the Blues are keen for him to extend his stay at Stamford Bridge despite the fact that the length of any proposed new deal is yet to be agreed.
The Times says that while Fabregas would like a two-year contract, the west London outfit have only tended to offer one-year extensions to players aged 30 and over.
However, with the report adding that Red Devils boss and former Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has been keeping tabs on the midfielder over the course of the last 18 months as he sees him as a potential alternative target to Arsenal’s Mesut Ozil, they may be forced to give into the Spaniard’s demands.
He has certainly been more of a key figure than he was last term.
The 30-year-old’s future was probably in doubt going into the summer after he often found himself on the substitutes’ bench with N’Golo Kante and Nemanja Matic preferred in the middle of the park, but despite the departure of the latter to Manchester United and the arrival of Tiemoue Bakayoko and Danny Drinkwater over the summer, he has been given more of a chance by Conte this season.
Injuries to all three of his central midfield rivals have certainly helped the Spaniard, while the 3-5-2 formation that the manager has preferred on occasions has opened up another spot in the middle of the park.
The Times says that Conte is desperate to retain Fabregas, who has scored one goal and provided a further four assists in 15 appearances in all competitions throughout the campaign so far.
With Conte seemingly convinced that he can still make an impact for the Blues, it seems likely that Chelsea will offer Fabregas the two-year extension he wants – as they did when they gave Gary Cahill a new four-deal when he was 29.
In addition, they certainly will be determined not to lose another player to former boss Mourinho and Manchester United having seen Matic go during the summer transfer window.