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Fabregas makes contingency plans for Chelsea exit

Cesc Fabregas is working on contingency plans to find a new club in case Chelsea decide not to offer him a contract extension before his deal runs out at the end of the season.

Maurizio Sarri and Chelsea have yet to give the Spanish midfielder assurances over his long-term future, prompting Fabregas' representatives to explore potential opportunities.

The signing of Mateo Kovacic and Jorginho, as well as increased game time for Ross Barkley, present a fresh challenge this season for Fabregas, who is trying out a new position under Sarri.

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He is now operating as the back-up option for Jorginho, a specialist in quick, one-touch passing, with the Italy international having joined the Blues from Napoli at the same time as the manager.

Fabregas remains keen to fight for a spot at Chelsea, but may struggle to retain his salary as the club's second highest paid player, behind Eden Hazard.

Chelsea have a policy in place for players over 30 years old, meaning Fabregas and a host of others will only be given one-year deals should they renew their contracts.

The 31-year-old joined Chelsea in 2014 from Barcelona after already making a name for himself in the Premier League with Arsenal.

Chelsea have extended Pedro's deal, which was also coming into its final year, but have the same decision to make with Gary Cahill, David Luiz, Olivier Giroud and Willy Caballero, who will all see their deals expire on 30 June 2019, too.

Cahill has already spoken of his discontent over a lack of game time so far under Sarri and could follow Fabregas out, with both Chelsea and their manager keen to reduce the size of the club's playing staff over the next year.