Chelsea Continue to Pursue English Trio in Bid to Boost Homegrown Player Quota
Chelsea are persisting in their attempts to land three English stars before the transfer window shuts on 31st August, according to the Daily Telegraph.
The national newspaper has reported that Blues boss Antonio Conte is still keen on prising Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Danny Drinkwater and Ross Barkley away from Arsenal, Leicester and Everton repsectively.
Chelsea are believed to have tabled an improved £35m bid for Oxlade-Chamberlain, while behind the scenes discussions are still ongoing over stumping up £40m and £25m offers for Drinkwater and Barkley.
Conte wants to boost the number of homegrown players in his senior ranks to fall in line with UEFA's guidelines for their upcoming Champions League campaign.
The departures of Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Nathaniel Chalobah have reduced the number of players in Conte's squad with the required paperwork to fulfil the 'homegrown' criteria - a factor which has made the Italian signal his intent to land the English trio from Premier League rivals.
Oxlade-Chamberlain has entered the final year of his contract at the Emirates, and the Gunners are reluctant to hand him a sizeable increase to his salary to take his wages over £125,000-a-week.
If Chelsea manage to sign Oxlade-Chamberlain AND Danny Drinkwater then it should, should guarantee their survival this season.— Andy Goldstein MBE (@andygoldstein05) August 15, 2017
Despite having less than 12 months to run on his deal, the winger will not come cheap for Chelsea as Arsenal hold out for a significant fee for him.
Leicester, meanwhile, are also playing hardball over Drinkwater, with the Foxes having already rejected £15m and £30m bids for his services.
Chelsea fans have voiced their displeasure on social media over paying such a high fee for the 27-year-old midfielder, but Conte still believes the ex-Manchester United youth product can add something to his side.
Finally, Barkley - like Oxlade-Chamberlain - is in the final year of his current deal, but Everton have slapped an eye watering £50m price tag on his head.
That is in spite of the 24-year-old telling manager Ronald Koeman of his desire to leave in search of a "new challenge", but the chances of Barkley making a switch to Stamford Bridge will be hampered by a recent hamstring injury he has sustained.
The England international has allegedly torn his hamstring and will be out for a period of around three months - an issue which would prevent him from passing any Chelsea medical and throwing a spanner in the works of any attempts to leave Merseyside this summer.