Chelsea are close to agreeing new contracts with Gaël Kakuta and Branislav Ivanovic, to head off interest in both players in the January transfer window.
Milan, Bayern Munich, Lyons and Paris St-Germain have all expressed interest in signing the highly rated 19-year-old who is out of contract in the summer and would be free to sign a pre-contract agreement with a non-English team in January.
Chelsea sources yesterday confirmed a deal is "very close" as the Premier League champions are determined not to allow the French midfielder Kakuta to leave them for nothing. A four-year deal worth around £40,000-a-week is believed to be on the table.
The club are also negotiating improved terms with the defender Ivanovic, who is wanted by European champions Internazionale and their Serie A rivals Juventus. The 26-year-old Serb has 18 months left to run on his current deal, but Chelsea are offering around £60,000-a-week to tempt him to sign for an additional three years.
Chelsea are without a win in five Premier League games, during which they have dropped from first to fourth in the table, and their captain John Terry yesterday refuted allegations of rifts in the dressing room between the English-speaking and the French-speaking players.
Terry said: "I have seen a couple of things about the players questioning each other and not being committed enough – it's absolute rubbish. It's so frustrating to read.
"The players are passionate about turning this corner and going on a good run. We believe playing like we did against Spurs, we can win the League. As long as we stay solid, the fans stay with us, I'm sure playing like this, we're going to be back."