Olympique Marseille chief Andoni Zubizarreta is in talks with Chelsea chief Michael Emenalo for Mikel John Obi.
Zubi hopes to land the Nigerian veteran next month.
L’Equipe says Emenalo has assured Zubi that OM can sign Obi on a free when the market opens on January 1.
However, OM will still have to negotiate personal terms, which will involve the player needing to accept a pay-cut.
Obi also has lucrative offers from China.