Chelsea have stepped up attempts to secure the futures of out-of-contract players Antonio Rudiger and Cesar Azpilicueta.
Fresh talks have been held with both defenders, who are now free to negotiate with interested clubs from abroad.
After successfully tying down Thiago Silva to a new one-year deal this week, the European champions want to end the uncertainty over their other key players who can walk away for nothing at the end of the season.
Andreas Christensen is also a free agent in the summer, with Thomas Tuchel publicly voicing his frustration over the centre-back’s failure to commit to the club. Barcelona are among the clubs linked with the 25-year-old.
Rudiger has also attracted interest from across Europe, with Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain among the clubs monitoring the Germany international. But there has been a long-standing hope within Stamford Bridge that he could be convinced to stay, despite the club’s reluctance to match terms of up to £400,000-a-week, which he could earn abroad.
Chelsea also want to keep hold of Azpilicueta as an influential figure in the dressing room. The length of his deal appears to be the main sticking point, with the 32-year-old unlikely to be satisfied with a short-term contract.
But the Spaniard is convinced he is still wanted by the club after latest talks.
He said: “I feel I have the trust and confidence of the club and now I am focused on every game we are having. They are very tough games and I am enjoying the moment.
“Eventually the moment will come, but I am fully focused on hopefully getting as many trophies as we can and then we will see. I cannot say anything more than that. I am really committed and have a lot of in the coming months and hopefully we can have a very good season.”