Chelsea are reportedly confident of reaching an agreement with Ashley Cole in their ongoing contract talks with the defender.
It has been claimed that Cole, 31, has been offered a one-year extension to his current deal, which expires next summer, and is ready to walk away for nothing.
But sources with knowledge of the negotiations were bemused at such suggestions amid what were said to be perfectly amicable talks, which began this summer.
It is understood that while Chelsea are more reluctant to offer long contracts to players in the thirties, each case is judged on its merits and Cole is viewed as someone with the potential to star at the highest level for several more years.
The left-back confirmed last month that discussions with the Blues were under way and rubbished suggestions he had demanded a pay rise to £200,000 a week.
Reaching an agreement is not a foregone conclusion, however, as Chelsea discovered while negotiating with Didier Drogba during the final year of his contract.