Chelsea Target Danny Drinkwater Set to Shock Leicester With Plan to Leave King Power Stadium
Chelsea's pursuit of Danny Drinkwater appears to have gained traction with the midfielder ready to ask Leicester to allow him to leave.
The Daily Mirror has reported that the 27-year-old will inform the Foxes that he wants to move down south to join Antonio Conte's squad after the Blues reignited their interest in the England international.
Drinkwater was on Chelsea's radar last summer, but the reigning Premier League champions opted not to try and entice him away from the King Power stadium.
Conte has now instructed his superiors to prepare a new offer for Drinkwater, however, and the Italian will hope that Drinkwater's own desire to leave could help move the transfer along.
Drinkwater was open to a switch to Stamford Bridge 12 months ago but, due to Chelsea already poaching N'Golo Kante from Leicester for a fee of around £34m, saw a possible move fall through.
Chelsea did not want to jeopardise their plans to land Kante by attempting to prise both of Leicester's first-choice centre midfielders from the Midlands, and ended any plausible discussions for Drinkwater - who missed Friday's friendly encounter with Borussia Monchengladbach - as a result.
Champions of England, won 30 Premier League games last season, get linked with Danny Drinkwater.— TalkOfTheBridge (@TalkOfTheBridge) July 31, 2017
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The Blues have now returned to the 2015/16 English top flight champions with the intention of finally snapping the ex-Manchester United youth graduate up, and will apparently offer no higher than £30m for Drinkwater.
That fee is unlikely to be enough to convince Leicester to sit down at the negotiating table, however, and Conte will hope that Drinkwater's admission of wanting to depart could help sway the Foxes into doing business with them.
Chelsea have lost two centre midfielders in the close season with Nemanja Matic and Nathaniel Chalobah leaving for United and Watford respectively, and have only replaced the duo with one new midfield signing of their own - former Monaco man Tiemoue Bakayoko in a £40m deal.
The acquisition of Drinkwater would allow Conte the chance to pair a number of men in the middle of the park as he continues to overhaul his senior squad ahead of fighting on four fronts in the coming season.