Schalke are confident they will agree personal terms with Baba Rahman as they continue talks with Chelsea over a January move for the left-back.
Rahman, deemed to be "too attacking" by Antonio Conte following the Italian's arrival at Stamford Bridge, joined Schalke on loan for the 2016-17 season but a serious knee injury during the Africa Cup of Nations in January 2017 ruled him out for the remainder of the campaign.
The Bundesliga side had hoped to extend the Ghana international's stay at the club to this season but that injury scuppered those hopes with player remaining in west London to complete his rehabilitation.
Rahman is now back in training after completing his recovery and while Conte has not ruled out giving the 23-year-old a chance to revive his Chelsea career, Schalke have been in contact with the Premier League champions over another deal.
Head coach Domenico Tedesco suggested earlier this week the club are still trying to establish Rahman's fitness levels and speaking at a press conference on Thursday [11 January], sporting director Christian Heidel suggested his side have taken another step towards wrapping up a deal.
"We are in talks with Chelsea regarding Baba Rahman," Heidel said. "There are still one or two things to clear up on their end. We could agree on a deal with the player himself relatively quickly."
While a return to Germany does look likely, Conte offered Rahman hope over his Chelsea future in a press conference earlier this month. While the former Augsburg youngster remains firmly behind Marcos Alonso in the first-team pecking order, Kenedy's proposed move to Newcastle United this month could open up room for the Ghanaian to compete for a squad role – with the club reportedly hitting a wall in their attempts to sign Alex Sandro from Juventus.
Conte recently said he is "ready to help" Rahman after his lengthy setback and did not rule out the possibility of the player remaining in west London for the rest of the season.
"This player is coming from a bad, bad injury," he said. "He's struggling a bit to recover the best form. To be honest, I don't know what's happening with Baba. For sure, from the human aspect, I'd like to give him an opportunity to come back stronger like before.
"I think that now he has to face recovery. He's showing great patience as he's struggling a lot. I don't know what's happening with Baba. If I can help him, I'm ready to help him. There's the player and the human aspect. It's good for him to stay here and take the right time to recover. We are ready."