CHELSEA have stepped up their efforts to sign Danny Drinkwater from Leicester.
The Blues need to bolster their squad with Antonio Conte heading into the new season short of players.
Chelsea’s return to Champions League football makes it all the more essential they have a team big enough to cope.
Alvaro Morata, Willy Caballero, Antonio Rudiger and Tiemoue Bakayoko have so far been brought in.
And it now appears they are edging nearer to adding Drinkwater.
According to the London Evening Standard, Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia, who is in charge of player negotiations, has intensified the club’s pursuit for more signings in recent days.
Granovskaia has been away from her base at Stamford Bridge, and England international Drinkwater is on her agenda.
The 27-year-old is said to now be a key target for Antonio Conte and high on his wishlist, with the Blues boss looking to strengthen his midfield.
Drinkwater has a strong relationship with N’Golo Kante from their title-winning season playing together at Leicester.
And the London Evening Standard add the Foxes require a bid in excess of £30million to be persuaded to sell.
Drinkwater has four years remaining on his contract, leaving Leicester in a strong position over negotiations.
But Chelsea are determined to buy another midfielder to support Kante and Cesc Fabregas with Bakayoko still injured.
Meanwhile, academy graduate and England Under-23s star Lewis Baker is set to be sent out on loan.