Chelsea to open contract talks with Musonda amid Arsenal and United interest

Chelsea are planning to open talks with Belgium Under-21-international starlet Charly Musonda over a new contract.

Musonda’s current deal expires in 2019, but Chelsea want to secure his long-term future at Stamford Bridge.

The 20-year-old joined the club’s academy five years ago and has just been promoted to the senior squad this season.

Musonda, who made 24 appearances on loan at Real Betis in 2016, impressed on his first start for the Blues against Nottingham Forest last week, scoring his first goal for Chelsea too.

The attacking midfielder is highly rated by a number of Europe’s leading scouts and has been targeted by Arsenal, Manchester United and Celtic over the past 18 months.

Chelsea held some initial discussions with him at the end of last season but it was agreed on both sides to postpone serious negotiations until a later date.

It is believed one of the reasons for the delay was that Musonda wanted to see how much he’d be involved under coach Antonio Conte this term.

Conte has already sent out a huge signal of intent by including him in Chelsea’s Premier League squad.

Standard Sport understands that the Italian has also told Musonda that he trusts him and is a part of his plans going forward.

Significantly, Conte was so impressed with Musonda’s performance against Nottingham Forest in the Carabao Cup, he was rewarded with a place on the bench at Stoke on Saturday.

Conte has told Musonda that he needs to put more muscle on to fulfil his potential, a message that the player has taken on board.

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He told Standard Sport last week that Eden Hazard has been giving him similar advice and is going to the gym.

Musonda said: “I know I definitely have to put more muscle on (like Eden did). It is a very physical League.  

“English football is very tough. You can have the skill but you need to add the physical part to it. I am still young and will have to continue developing. I’m patient and I have time.”

Musonda agreed a contract worth £12,000-a-week when he signed a four-year contract in 2015, but can now expect a significant pay-rise when he signs an extension.

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