Having already had one bid rejected this summer, the Telegraph state that Chelsea will return with a second bid for Leicester City midfielder Danny Drinkwater worth £25 million.
Do Chelsea need him?
Antonio Conte’s squad is seriously lacking depth. In midfield, after the sale of Nemanja Matic, Conte is left with only N’Golo Kante, Cesc Fabregas and Tiemoue Bakayoko as recognised senior central midfielders.
Bakayoko is out until September as he recovers from a knee operation, and even when he returns, Chelsea will face at least 46 games this season and rotation will be necessary. With only three options in the middle of the park, that will be hard for Conte to manage. It would be a big ask for a youngster to step up, so an addition seems necessary.
Is it a fair price?
At 27-years-old, Drinkwater should be at his peak. He was one of the stars of the show in Leicester’s Premier League winning campaign in 2015/16 alongside N’Golo Kante, and the opportunity to have the two of them team up again may be part of why Chelsea are targeting him.
Another key factor worth considering is that he boasts homegrown status. Having sold the likes of John Terry, Nathan Ake, Asmir Begovic, Dominic Solanke and allowed Ruben Loftus-Cheek to leave on loan, the Blues squad is lacking homegrown talent which could pose a problem when it comes to squad registration. Drinkwater may ease that pressure.
However, he is not a proven international with experience at the highest level. One season of Champions League football and a role on the very fringes of Gareth Southgate’s England squad may not be convincing.
Is a move likely?
Chelsea need to move for a midfielder and they need to move fast. The issue may be whether or not Leicester would be prepared to sell so close to the start of the season. If Roman Abramovich is prepared to splash out to keep Antonio Conte happy, then a deal looks very likely.