Chelsea are growing increasingly confident they will conclude contract negotiations with N’Golo Kante within the next few months.
The club are determined in keeping the France midfielder and first opened talks in the summer over an extension. A new five-year deal, worth up to £290,000-a-week, was proposed, but nothing has been signed since it was first revealed in July.
Kante’s current contract, worth £150,000-a-week, expires in 2021 and Chelsea remain committed to securing the 27-year-old’s future.
The hold-up has continued to give perennial admirers Paris St Germain hope that they could lure the former Leicester star back to France. There have even been reports this week that Manchester United are planning to make an offer.
However, Chelsea have no interest in cashing in on one of their most important players.
Kante has had to get used to a new position under Maurizio Sarri, who replaced Antonio Conte as coach in July, being handed a more attacking role in a three-man midfield to the right of Jorginho.
Despite still adapting to the change, Kante is one of seven Chelsea players that has started every League game under Sarri.
He has been a huge success since joining for £32million in 2016 and was voted footballer of the year by his peers and football writers a year later as Chelsea won the Premier League.
Kante’s new contract would make him, for the time being, the club’s highest-paid player, ahead of Eden Hazard, although the Blues are prepared to offer the Belgian more than £290,000-a-week to convince him to stay in west London.
But, as Standard Sport first revealed in August, Hazard is in no rush to discuss terms. The forward, who has admitted to dreaming of joining Real Madrid, has just over 19 months remaining on his current deal.
Meanwhile, AC Milan are interested in signing Chelsea duo Cesc Fabregas and Gary Cahill in January.