Callum Hudson-Odoi is expected to be at Chelsea next season, with Maurizio Sarri confident that the teenager can be retained even if no new contract is put in place.
As things stand, the 18-year-old forward is tied to terms until the summer of 2020.
Those at Stamford Bridge have been eager to agree an extension , with there an understandable desire on their part to retain the services of an exciting academy graduate.
No terms have been put in place, though, and Hudson-Odoi continues to spark talk of interest from the likes of Bayern Munich .
Sarri, though, believes that the talented teenager will be staying put, with Chelsea set to take in a two-window transfer ban that will prevent them from bringing in cover.
Quizzed on whether he expects Hudson-Odoi to be in west London for the 2019-20 campaign, the Italian tactician said: “I think so. I can’t say if he is going to sign a new contract with us, but I think he is going to stay with us regardless.”
For now, the focus at Chelsea is on making the most of Hudson-Odoi’s obvious ability.
He is yet to start a Premier League game for the Blues, despite having now been included from the off in a Euro 2020 qualifier against Montenegro for his country, with Sarri favouring other attacking options.
It is, however, considered be only a matter of time before he gets that big break.
Sarri said when asked if a start is imminent in top-flight competition: “We have to play eight matches in 28 days, so he will start in two or three matches.
“For every competition there is no difference, so I am really very confident with him.
“He has started a lot of matches. Not in Premier League, but by chance, it is not a problem for him to start a Premier League match, he is ready.
“But I can only play with two wingers, we have [Eden] Hazard, Pedro, Willian. Probably in the near future he will start in 75 or 80% of matches.”
Pressed further on Hudson-Odoi’s progress and potential, Sarri added: “He is doing very well.
“He needs to improve more, because the potential is very high. I don’t want him to stop improving. He can be one of the most important in Europe. He needs to improve more.”
One player who is already established as one of the best in Europe, and another of those working on a deal to 2020, is Belgium international Hazard.
Like Hudson-Odoi, questions are being asked of his future, with rumours of interest from Real Madrid refusing to go away .
Sarri is reluctant to be drawn on whether the 28-year-old could soon be heading elsewhere, saying of a talismanic figure: “I don’t know. You have two possibilities, ask Hazard or the club. I am not in charge of the transfer market.
“We need Hazard to be at the top for the end of the season. Now we can’t solve the problem, the market is closed. I want to respect his decision. I don’t know if he has decided or not.”
Hazard has previously vowed that a call on his future will be made “soon” , but there has been no revelation as yet with Chelsea still chasing down a top-four finish and Europa League glory.