Chelsea will offer Callum Hudson-Odoi the No 10 shirt vacated by Eden Hazard this summer in a bid to persuade him to sign a contract, with fresh talks between the board and his advisors scheduled for this month.
The 18-year-old England star has Bayern Munich, Paris St-Germain, and Juventus keen to sign him this summer or in January, when he will have just six months left on his deal and can then commit to a European team with only minimal compensation due to Chelsea.
There is a possibility the forward, currently injured with a ruptured Achilles, will consider signing a deal if the club show they are planning to build the team around him in the future.
The player and his advisers have always said the reluctance to sign was not about financial issues but concerned the lack of playing time in 2018 and his development at the club.
With Hazard leaving when a fee can be resolved between Real Madrid and Chelsea — with the Spanish club still understood to be well below Chelsea’s £100million asking price — there is an opportunity to pass the creative leadership of the team on to Hudson-Odoi.
That is the pitch Bayern made to him. They made it clear he would wear the No 10 shirt of Arjen Robben, who is leaving the club, when they made their £35m bid in January, and wanted him to play centrally as well as wide as their key creative player.
Prior to last month’s injury, Hudson-Odoi was becoming a more prominent member of Maurizio Sarri’s first team.
Though the manager’s future is in doubt, if Chelsea can demonstrate that whoever is in charge next season will make Hudson-Odoi a key figure, in terms of playing and in the financial offer, there is a possibility he would commit to a long-term deal.
However, at present, there is a feeling his development would be better served at a club such as Bayern.