Two England midfielders on Chelsea's radar
Back in May, it was all looking good for Chelsea. Deservedly winning the Premier League, with relative ease, and setting their sights on a Champions League challenge the following season. Fast forward to today, there's an ongoing, messy divorce with last season's top scorer, the manager appears frustrated with the sale of key first team players and doubts about the Italian's future are already being raised. Now, however, the champions are being linked with two English midfielders who could help to secure another successful season.
Antonio Conte's first midfield target from a fellow Premier League side is Leicester City's, Danny Drinkwater. The former Manchester United youngster has continued to impress for The Foxes and Conte sees him as an ideal replacement for Nemanja Matic. In addition to his solid midfield play, Drinkwater played alongside N'golo Kante in Leicester's title winning season, which they hope would allow for a smooth Stamford Bridge transition.
Chelsea have already had a £15 million bid rejected for the 27-year-old, but they are expected to return shortly with an improved offer. Leicester value Drinkwater at £30 million, and just ask Riyad Mahrez, the club are tough negotiators when it comes to selling players.
The second player to be linked with Chelsea, according to StarSport, is Everton's Ross Barkley. The 23-year-old has bags of potential but has so far struggled to demonstrate what he is capable of on a regular basis. Whilst Ronald Koeman has suggested that Barkley could well still be an Everton player for the duration of this season, a departure is the most likely conclusion.
Barkley has continued to refuse a new contract, reports Sky Sports, meaning that whilst Everton insist that they will not budge on their £50 million valuation, they could sell for a cut price as opposed to losing him for nothing next summer.
Chelsea believe that they could get Barkley for £25 million, but are expected to encounter competition from another London club, Tottenham Hotspur.