Cahill earns four-year deal just in time
Gary Cahill has beaten Chelsea's cut-off point for being awarded long-term contracts by just 17 days, after signing a four-year deal.
Cahill signed the contract that runs until 2019 yesterday, just over two weeks before he turns 30 on December 19. Had the central defender not signed the deal before his 30th birthday, then, like John Terry and Branislav Ivanovic, he would have been eligible only to have extended his contract by one year.
Chelsea have a strict policy of only offering players older than 30 12-month deals and both Terry, the captain, and the right back Ivanovic may have to wait until near the end of this season to see whether they have earned extensions.
Next on Chelsea's list to tie to a new long-term deal is Willian, the Brazilian forward who has been the club's best player during their disastrous start to the season, even though his contract runs to 2018.
Meanwhile, Chelsea are facing a dilemma over the future of one of their most highly-rated young players, Charly Musonda, who is attracting interest from clubs all over Europe.
Musonda, 19, signed a four-year contract in March but the midfielder is growing increasingly concerned that there is no path for him into the Chelsea first-team squad. Musonda hoped to break through this term after being part of the club's tour to Thailand and Australia at the end of the last campaign and turned down the chance to join Vitesse Arnhem on loan during the summer.
Talks over the Belgium under-21 international's future are likely to take place before the January transfer window. Should he reject a new deal and again refuse a loan move, then Chelsea face the prospect of either keeping him against his will or cashing in on the highest bid. (© Daily Telegraph, London)