Chelsea plan to enter contract talks with rave of the moment, Victor Moses in the coming weeks after it emerged he has become a transfer target for Barcelona, according to reports in England.
Moses’ performances in a new wing-back role have been key to Chelsea’s stunning turnaround in form since switching to a 3-4-3 formation, sparking a seven-game winning run in the Premier League.
He scored the winning goal in Saturday’s 2-1 victory over title rivals Tottenham, having previously found the net in wins against Burnley and champions Leicester City.
The Nigerian international, who turns 26 next month, is under contract until the summer of 2019, having signed a new four-year deal just before joining West Ham on loan for the 2015-16 season.
He started only 16 games for the Hammers last season, yet has now become a crucial part of Antonio Conte’s team during their dominant rise to the top of the Premier League table.
Chelsea’s technical director Michael Emenalo – himself a former Nigerian international – has been thoroughly impressed with the way Moses has adapted to his new role.
He is thought to be keen for Moses to be given an extended, improved contract partly to acknowledge his position within the team but also to ward off interest from Barcelona.
Moses has traditionally been seen as a winger but, after three successive seasons away from the club on loan, has now established himself as a regular in Chelsea’s starting line-up at wing-back.
His role now involves taking a greater defensive responsibility and Barcelona are understood to view him as one of the best right-back options in Europe at present.
Chelsea are aware of Barcelona’s interest and the Catalan club are actively searching for a right-back to either replace or provide competition for Sergi Roberto.
They have sent a scout to a number of Chelsea games both home and away throughout this season, and are understood to have been impressed with the way Moses has performed in the matches they have attended.
Conte said at his pre-match press conference on Friday that Moses should concentrate on keeping Chelsea on top of the Premier League and not think about his contract situation or interest from other clubs.
“About Victor, I repeat, it’s more important to be focused on the present. It’s important to be focused game by game”.
However, with Emenalo keen for Moses to be tied down to a new long-term contract, Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia, who handles all player contract negotiations on behalf of the club, is expected to begin talks with Moses’ representatives in the coming weeks.