Danny Drinkwater has handed in a transfer request to Leicester City as he looks to force through a move to Chelsea. The England international is wanted by Antonio Conte as he looks to bolster his squad for the season, particularly with the rigorous demands of European football to contend with unlike last year.
Conte has also outlined his desire to build an English core at Stamford Bridge, with the 27-year-old fitting the bill perfectly.
Drinkwater won the Premier League with Leicester in 2015/16 alongside Blues star N’Golo Kante at the heart of their midfield and the pair are now set to be reunited.
And he has handed in an official request to leave the King Power Stadium in order to link up with his former team-mate, according to Sky Sports.
Chelsea have already added Tiemoue Bakayoko to their squad this summer but the addition of Drinkwater will boost their strength in depth, especially after the departure of Nemanja Matic.
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Despite Chelsea agreeing a fee with Arsenal, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has reportedly rejected a West London move due to concerns about his playing position.
The deal seemed all but done. Chelsea and Arsenal had agreed a fee, all that was needed was for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to sign on the dotted line. However, the latest reports claim that the Englishman has turned down a Blues move.
According to BBC Sport, Oxlade-Chamberlain has not taken too well to Chelsea’s desire to use him at wingback. Instead, a Liverpool switch is more appealing.
Common consensus coming out of North London claimed that Oxlade-Chamberlain was unhappy with his wingback role. His eagerness to leave Arsenal was borne out of a wish to play more centrally.
Chelsea have been trailing the 24-year-old for a month or so, but as a potential wingback target. As the Blues look for someone to compete with (and cover for) Victor Moses and Marcos Alonso, Oxlade-Chamberlain has been identified as a potential last-minute signing.
Evidently, the Arsenal man truly wants to revert to a more familiar position further forward and more central. If he wanted to leave Arsenal due to the club’s inherent crisis, he would have accepted whatever role Conte was offering.
To be fair to Oxlade-Chamberlain, it seems that he will only leave Arsenal if he can play in the role he deems himself to be best.
This leaves Chelsea in a pickle, though. With just under 48 hours left to go in the transfer window, they are still painfully short in wingback depth. Injuries to Moses or Alonso could wreak havoc in West London. Cesar Azpilicueta and Pedro will be required to stand by as emergency deputies.