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Chelsea to open talks over new contract with £21m man despite three-man Conte transfer shortlist

Chelsea are reportedly set to open contract talks with midfielder Nemanja Matic as Antonio Conte hopes to keep the Serbian ace at the club.

The 28-year-old has been an almost ever-present for the Blues in the Premier League this season, helping to steer them on course for another title as they boast a 10-point lead with 11 games remaining.

With seven assists from his midfield role, it isn’t just the defensive side of the game that he is excelling in as he has also struck up a solid partnership with N’Golo Kante.

In turn, as reported by The Mirror, it’s claimed that Chelsea are keen to tie down his long-term future after re-signing him from Benfica three years ago for £21m. Having handed him a five-and-a-half year deal at that stage, the time is approaching for him to pen an extension, and it appears as though an offer will be on the table.

It comes despite the fact that the same report claims that Conte is looking to significantly bolster his midfield options ahead of next season, with three targets in particular on his mind.

Monaco’s Tiemoue Bakayoko, Atalanta youngster Franck Kessie and Roma star Radja Nainggolan are all still of interest to the Premier League leaders, but time will tell as to whether or not Chelsea are able to prise them away this summer.

What is clear is that with a return to Europe expected next season barring a huge collapse to finish this campaign, Chelsea will need strength in depth next year to cope with the packed fixture list. With Cesc Fabregas the only real alternative at this point, Matic signing a new contract and a new arrival or two could be the perfect summer for the Chelsea midfield.

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