N'Golo Kante has signalled his openness to renewing his contract, with Chelsea hoping to tie the midfielder down to a new record-breaking £290,000-a-week deal, Goal understands.
Chelsea are keen to ward off potential suitors by rewarding the France international with a five-year contract that would be the biggest in the club’s history.
Having helped Leicester to a surprise Premier League title in his debut season, he joined Chelsea a year later and repeated the feat under then-manager Antonio Conte.
His consistency and influence has seen a host of clubs show an interest in him, most notably Paris Saint-Germain, but Kante has little interest in moving back to the city where he grew up.
Barcelona are keeping a close eye on developments around the World Cup-winning midfielder, but they have yet to make any serious approach to Chelsea or Kante's representatives.
Kante, whose current £150,000-a-week deal expires in 2021, is one of Chelsea's biggest contract renewal priorities, along with team-mate Eden Hazard.
And, while a new deal for Kante would see him become Chelsea’s best-paid player, it could be immediately blown out of the water by a new contract for Hazard, which could break the £300,000-a-week barrier.
Maurizio Sarri is understood to be happy with Kante's contribution, despite his need to adapt to a more attacking role this season, but other midfielders could be set for a January move.
Cesc Fabregas has long-term interest from Milan, who have him on their midfield shortlist, with his contract set to expire at the end of the season.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek will also be likely to have a meeting in the upcoming weeks to discuss his situation, but he has improved his status within the squad in recent months and remains hopeful of a long-term future at his boyhood club.
Danny Drinkwater will be allowed to exit Chelsea after an underwhelming £35-million move from Leicester in 2017, which has seen the 28-year-old feature just 12 times in the Premier League and not once since Sarri replaced Conte as manager.