Leicester City have been left reeling after Danny Drinkwater handed in a transfer request to force through a transfer to Premier League champions Chelsea.
Sky Sports have reported that the Foxes midfielder has shocked his current employers by informing them that he wishes to leave - just 36 hours before the summer transfer window slams shut.
Chelsea have seen two offers for Drinkwater knocked back already by Leicester this summer, but have been given fresh hope in their pursuit of him after this latest development.
Drinkwater is yet to feature for the 2015/16 English top flight champions as rumours continue to spread about an impending move to Stamford Bridge.
Bids of around £15m and £30m have been rejected by the King Power stadium-based side, however, as they look to cling on to a key part of Craig Shakespeare's first-team squad.
Antonio Conte's Blues must now act quickly if they want to lure the 27-year-old to west London before the 11pm deadline on 31st August, but will likely have to pay over-the-odds to secure Drinkwater's signature regardless.
Drinkwater was earmarked as a key transfer target by Conte earlier in the summer, but any possible move for the England international was put to one side as Chelsea looked to secure other more notable targets such as Tiemoue Bakayoko and Alvaro Morata.
With those players now part of the senior set up, the Italian has turned his attentions to Drinkwater and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to boost the homegrown quota in his squad.
The Arsenal star has since rejected a £40m transfer across the capital as he holds out for a switch to rivals Liverpool, and Conte will now hope that a move for Drinkwater will prove to be much more successful.
The former Manchester United youth star has played 218 times for Leicester since his move to the club in January 2012, but he may have featured for the Foxes for the last time if he is granted a move to Chelsea.