Chelsea are finalising a new deal for Nemanja Matic that will see the Serbian earn over £100,000-a-week, reports Goal.
Stamford Bridge officials have been in talks with Matic's representatives since November, but there has never been much doubt that the two parties would eventually find an agreement. They have now agreed terms on a long-term deal with just formalities keeping the Blues from confirming it.
Matic has become a key player for Jose Mourinho since arriving from Benfica just 14 months ago. Chelsea had originally sold Matic to the Portuguese outfit, but agreed a £21 million deal to bring him back to west London.
Bumper pay rise
The Serbian is set to secure a bumper pay rise as a result of his fine form with his new wage designed to confirm his position as one of Chelsea's best players. Mourinho's respect for Matic has been highlighted in the past with the Special One describing him as a "giant" towards to end of last year.
"Talks have gone well and there is no doubt it will get done"
His absence in the game against Newcastle United, which was one of the two games Chelsea have lost this season, was seen as crucial to the final result. Mourinho has vigorously defended the defensive midfielder after he was sent off against Burnley.
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A source said: "Talks have gone well and there is no doubt it will get done, it is just a matter of when and not if. Both sides are very happy."
Martin Atkinson showed a red card to Matic after he pushed Ashley Barnes over in a recent Premier League tie. It was Matic's response to a clumsy challenge from Barnes, which was dangerous enough to break a player's leg.
Mourinho made a last-minute appearance of Goals on Sunday to defend his player and launched an appeal to try to get the red card rescinded. The FA later reduced his ban from three games to two game, ruling him out of the Capital One Cup final.
Capital One Cup celebrations
Kurt Zouma filled in for Matic at Wembley and helped them to keep a clean sheet in a 2-0 victory. Matic celebrated with his team-mates in full match kit on John Terry's instruction and also gave a pre-match team talk in the Chelsea dressing room.
"The boy was sad, we were sad for him," Mourinho is quoted in the same report as saying. "He made the speech in the dressing room where he expressed his pain and asked the players to have the pleasure he couldn’t have."
Extending Matic's deal to the end of the decade is another sign that Chelsea are heading for an era of stability. The Serbian looks set to be a key player under Mourinho and looks to be a candidate for the captain's armband when John Terry retires.
Is Nemanja Matic the next Chelsea captain or is there someone better suited? Give us your views in the comments box below!