Chelsea want to reward Gary Cahill for his terrific club form over the last 12 months by opening talks over a new four-year contract worth around £120,000-a-week in the next fortnight. That is according to the Express, who believe the Blues want to build for the future with Cahill as a permanent feature in central defence, particularly with his partner John Terry fast approaching the culmination of a magnificent career.
Blues boss Jose Mourinho still wants a new centre-back and left-back as a matter of urgency this summer, but first wants Cahill's long-term future secured. The 28-year-old still has nearly three years left on his current deal at Stamford Bridge, but the club's move to offer fresh terms is more about recognising his important position in the squad than moving to stop potential suitors swooping.
Cahill the kingpin
After taking some time to adjust to life at Chelsea following a £7m move from Bolton Wanderers Cahill has proved a fantastic acquisition, particularly when you consider the lack of top central defenders currently operating in the Premier League.
Cahill has already clocked up more than 100 competitive appearances for Chelsea and won the Champions League, Europa League and FA Cup, proving an integral part of cup success that Mourinho now needs to turn into Premier League glory.
Mourinho views Cahill as integral to that plan and as a show of strength wants to place Cahill alongside some of the club's top earners, including Terry and Petr Cech.
Mourinho means business
When Cahill returns from an extended break following his ever-present effort in England's woeful World Cup campaign Chelsea will sit down with his representatives and thrash out a new contract, which will effectively amount to roughly a £40,000-a-week pay rise and one-year extension.
Mourinho will have hoped to confirm the addition of Brazilian full-back Filipe Luis to his defence before talking to Cahill, as Chelsea bid to rebuild a defence which was breached consistently away from home last season at crucial times.
Terry and Cahill were largely maginificent though and the signing of promising French youngster Kurt Zouma will not affect their blossoming partnership continuing next season.