Chelsea have opened talks with Antonio Rudiger over a new contract but remain cautious over his demands, with both Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid keeping an eye on the situation.
The two European giants will be able to sign the Germany international in January on a pre-contract agreement, with the defender's current deal expiring in the summer of 2022.
Despite interest from abroad, Goal can confirm that the 28-year-old would be happy to stay put in west London as long as his contract demands are met, with Rudiger believing this will likely be the last big-money deal of his career.
Why do PSG and Real Madrid want Rudiger?
PSG have invested heavily in their squad and have become adept at recruiting in the free transfer market, with the Ligue 1 side able to offer huge wages.
Lionel Messi, Sergio Ramos, Georginio Wijnaldum and Gianluigi Donnarumma all arrived after their contract expired at their previous clubs in the summer.
Blues boss Thomas Tuchel previously tried to sign Rudiger during his time in charge of PSG when he fell out of favour under former manager Frank Lampard over a year ago.
Similarly, Madrid can offer competitive salaries and still possess the prestige to attract top talent. Free transfers are part of their strategy to overcome the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic that have hit Spanish clubs particularly hard.
Los Blancos sold Raphael Varane to Manchester United amid fears he would exit on a free transfer and, with Ramos having already left, reinforcing the centre-back area is likely to be a priority.
Will Rudiger stay at Chelsea?
Germany international Rudiger has previously acknowledged talks over a new contract, revealing back in August: "I said before that I wanted to concentrate on the Euros and when I come back, talks can start.
"That’s what has happened. Talks have begun so we will see what time brings."
Tuchel, meanwhile, has been reluctant to be drawn on the subject, although it is clear that Rudiger is seen as a hugely important member of the first-team squad.
Indeed, he has arguably been the top defensive performer since the former Dortmund and PSG boss took charge at Stamford Bridge and has been an ever-present in the starting XI.
The boardroom view regarding Rudiger's situation may differ slightly, however, as the Blues look to keep the average age of the squad down and that could see the former Roma star moved on.
Do Chelsea still want to sign Kounde?
Sevilla centre-back Jules Kounde remains a major target having been close to joining the Premier League title hopefuls in the summer transfer window.
The 22-year-old defender wanted a move to the European champions this summer but he was frustrated as Chelsea opted against paying the huge demands of the Liga side.
The Blues are known to have made one official bid before refusing to match Sevilla's demands.
They could, however, attempt to sign Kounde in January but would need the Andalusian side to find a replacement if they want to sign the Frenchman for less than his €80 million (£68m/$90m) release clause.
Furthermore, the Blues remain in talks to renew Andreas Christensen's contract, with minor details now needing to be sorted. The Dane is expected to sign a new four-year deal in the next month, with the contract also including a club option for an extra year.
Chelsea are also trying to renew the contract of Trevoh Chalobah, who has been promoted to the first team this season.