The Times says Chelsea's wage bill could reach £150 million this year as the recent round of contract renegotiations is set to continue. Mikel and Cole are the next in line for new deals and expect to open talks before the start of the season after Wayne Bridge, Petr Cech and Michael Essien signed new contracts in the past week.

Discussions are under way with Frank Lampard and Michael Ballack, and Didier Drogba is also demanding a pay rise to keep him at the club.

Chelsea's wage bill for 2006-07 was £133million, £40million higher than the Barclays Premier League's second biggest spenders, Manchester United, but even that sum, which represents 71 per cent of their turnover, is likely to be dwarfed when their latest results are released early next year.