By Abigail Withey
Chelsea are preparing to table a bid of at least £25million for Leicester midfielder Danny Drinkwater over the next week, according to a report.
The Telegraph has revealed that the Premier League champions have submitted their second bid for the 27-year-old after their previous offer of £15 million was rejected.
The newspaper claims on their website that the playmaker is keen on a move to Stamford Bridge, despite potentially being below N’Golo Kante, Tiemoue Bakayoko and Cesc Fabregas in Antonio Conte’s pecking order.
It is understood that Drinkwater’s bid will be submitted this week while the London side prepare to bring three players to the Premier League title winners.
The report details interest in Arsenal star Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Everton’s Ross Barkley in addition to Saints defender Virgil Van Dijk.
The playmaker joined the Foxes in 2012 and has since made 218 appearances for the club where he has scored 15 goals and provided 23 assists throughout all competitions.
Football Insider verdict
It’s easy to see why boss Antonio Conte is keen to make some final recruits before deadline day, but a £25+ offer for Drinkwater is just extortionate. It’s likely that the Chelsea boss is keen to improve his midfield options, but it’s doubtful that the 27-year-old would provide the club with the quality the Italian manager is looking for. The Englishman only contributed a single goal and not even a handful of assists for the Foxes last season, and with restricted playing time at Stamford Bridge it’s unlikely that he would develop much with a move. Recruiting the former Manchester United starlet would also add to the club’s share of ‘home-grown’ players, which Conte is said to be keen on doing, but other than that the London Blues are best to focus on their other interests in proven players such as Oxlade-Chamberlain or Van Dijk.
In other Chelsea transfer news, the club have submitted a huge bid for PL playmaker.