Emerson opens talks over new Chelsea contract

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Emerson Palmieri Chelsea 2019-20
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The Italy defender has been one of the top performers in the opening weeks of the season for the Blues and they are keen to tie him down

Chelsea have begun talks over a new contract for left-back Emerson Palmieri following an impressive start to the season.

The 25-year-old’s current deal expires in June 2022, and Goal can confirm that the Blues are keen to tie Emerson down to fresh terms ahead of the January transfer window.

Former Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri explored the potential of signing the Italy international for Juventus over the summer, and Chelsea are keen to warn off any more potential suitors.

Frank Lampard has preferred Emerson to Marcos Alonso in his opening five matches in charge at Stamford Bridge, and despite his side showing some defensive frailties, Emerson has been widely praised for his performances.

"I think it’s the best period of my career," Emerson said in an interview following Italy's win over Armenia on Thursday, a game in which he registered an assist. "I’m very happy at Chelsea, just as I was last season, but obviously a player is always happier when he plays regularly."

In total the Brazilian-born defender has made 39 appearances for the Blues following his €20 million (£18m/$22m) move from Roma in January 2018, with Sarri opting to select him ahead of Alonso towards the end of last season.

Should Emerson put pen to paper on a new contract, he would be following in the footsteps in a number of first-team players to have done the same in recent months.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Mason Mount and Olivier Giroud all agreed new deals during pre-season while Callum Hudson-Odoi is close to finalising a new £180,000-a-week five-year contract with his boyhood club.

Fellow academy graduates Tammy Abraham, Fikayo Tomori and Reece James are also being lined up for new contracts in the coming months having all played their way into the first-team reckoning under Lampard.

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Emerson is set to appear for Italy again on Sunday as their Euro 2020 qualification campaign continues against Finland before he returns to west London to reunite with his his Chelsea team-mates.

The Blues have won just one of their opening five matches of the campaign under Lampard, and face a trip to Molineux to take on Wolves on Saturday as they aim to kickstart their season.

Home matches against Valencia and Liverpool follow in the Champions League and Premier League respectively in what is a tough period of games following the international break.