Chelsea are prepared to offer fresh terms to experienced campaigner Cesc Fabregas in a bid to ward off interest from former manager Jose Mourinho and Manchester United, while reports suggest that they are also prioritising a contract extension for key playmaker Eden Hazard.
Former Arsenal stalwart Fabregas has enjoyed something of a career renaissance under Antonio Conte so far this term, starting 13 of Chelsea's first 16 matches across all competitions and proving a steady influence with summer arrivals Tiemoue Bakayoko and Danny Drinkwater both having missed time through injury along with influential Ballon d'Or nominee N'Golo Kante.
"'He was my enemy when he was in charge at [Real] Madrid or Chelsea, competing and wanting to beat him,' Fabregas recently told Vanity Fair of his relationship with Mourinho.
"From there I became his player at Chelsea and would go with him to the death. I learned a lot, I have a very positive memory of him. Forever."
The Times now report that Fabregas is seen as a potential alternative to another of Mourinho's former players - Arsenal contract rebel Mesut Ozil - as the Red Devils begin to plot their strategy for the next summer transfer window.
However, the same publication claims that Chelsea are ready to present Fabregas with a new contract offer in light of that interest from their Premier League title rivals and having previously assured him that he remains a key member of Conte's first-team squad.
Some compromise will inevitably be required, though, with the Spanish international apparently keen on a two-year extension to his current deal that is due to expire in 2019 and his employers typically keen to negotiate 12-month deals with players over 30.
Chelsea are also said to be focusing on sorting an agreement with Hazard, who as it currently stands will become a free agent in 2020.
The former PFA Player of the Year became Chelsea's highest-paid player on wages of approximately £200,000-per-week after putting pen to paper on a new five-and-a-half year deal in February 2015 and reports last month stated that the club were optimistic that he would sign a £300,000-a-week renewal and resist overtures from Real Madrid.
Speaking on international duty in August after recovering from a fractured ankle, Hazard confirmed that there has been no movement on the contract front thus far and that he was "waiting" for an offer.
Thibaut Courtois' contract is similarly believed to be a priority for Chelsea, with the towering first-choice goalkeeper, another player who has been linked with both Real and Paris Saint-Germain in the past, having just 20 months left to run on his current £120,000-per-week deal.
Rumours over a potential return to Madrid for the former Atletico loanee have continued to circulate over recent weeks and Chelsea will be eager to put a stop to that speculation as soon as possible.