By David Woods

8th Aug, 2017 | 11:40am

Report: Existing Chelsea midfielder key as director accelerates big-money move for Conte top target

By Harry Sykes

Chelsea are said to be accelerating their move for Leicester midfielder Danny Drinkwater, according to a report.

The Evening Standard reports that Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia is working on a number of fronts to address manager Antonio Conte’s fears that the squad is too light.

And Drinkwater, 27, is said to be their number one target now, with his existing “rapport” with N’Golo Kante a big part of their decision to push for the player.

However, Drinkwater is under contract with the former Premier League winners until 2021 and the Standard claims that it will take a big-money offer – offer in excess of £30m – to dislodge him.

This follows a report in the Mirror that claimed Conte was “seriously interested” in Drinkwater, and that the player was also keen on the move.

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Cheslea are in need of midfielder reinforcements, with just Cesc Fabregas and Kante currently available for selection, with new signing Tiemoué Bakayoko out injured for the first part of the new Premier League season.

Football Insider verdict:

£30m+ for Danny Drinkwater? Who would have thought it? That sort of money wouldn’t be a problem for Chelsea, but fans might see it as a lot of money for a player who still isn’t seen as world class, despite breaking through into the England team last year. However, if reports are right, Chelsea tried to sign both Kante and Drinkwater last summer but had to settle for just one of the two. Kante is world class and has proven himself as a double Premier League winner. The two players certainly worked together brilliantly for Leicester in the 2015/16 campaign, so this has the potential to be a hugely important transfer for the West London team. 

In other Chelsea news, three more players are set to arrive before the end of the summer transfer window.

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