Danny Drinkwater has begun his preparations for an immediate return to Leicester City by joining up with his new Chelsea team-mates in training.
Manager Antonio Conte led a stripped-down group through a session at Chelsea’s Cobham training base on Monday in the absence of their stars on international duty.
The Premier League champions face a trip to Leicester’s King Power Stadium on Saturday, a game which poses an immediate reunion for their new £30million midfielder.
Drinkwater left Leicester for Chelsea on deadline day as his transfer saga finally came to an end when his former club secured the services of his replacement, Adrien Silva from Sporting Lisbon.
In Monday’s session, the 27-year-old joined David Luiz, Tiemoue Bakayoko, Cesc Fabregas, Marcos Alonso, Baba Rahman, Charly Musonda, Eduardo, Willy Caballero and a smattering of academy youngsters as Conte got his players back into the groove after a short break.
The Blues’ other deadline-day signing, full back Davide Zappacosta, is yet to join his team-mates after receiving a late call-up to Italy’s squad ahead of their game against Israel on Tuesday night.
Rahman, who has not been named in Chelsea’s Premier League or Champions League squads, is expected to leave the club on loan in January after returning to fitness following a serious knee injury. Schalke and Galatasaray have shown interest.
Meanwhile, Drinkwater has sent a farewell message to Leicester supporters after ending his five-year spell at the club.
The midfielder, who won the title in the Foxes’ historic charge to the Premier League summit last year, said the taste for success he got in 2016 led him to believe a move to Stamford Bridge was right for him.
‘It was hard decision to leave, but it felt like the time was right,’ Drinkwater said.
‘When you get a taste for what we achieved together, it’s addictive, you want to experience it as much as you can and this felt like my chance to chase that.
‘You don’t know when an opportunity like that might come along again, so for me I had to take it.’
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Chelsea target set to almost double his wages with new five year deal
The Brazilian international was reportedly the subject of a number of bids from Chelsea over the summer but Juve were unwilling to let the 26 year old leave the club despite reports of a €70m offer being put on the table by the Blues.
Sandro is believed to be on €2.8m a season currently, with his contract expiring in 2020. The new proposed offer is said to be worth €5million a year, or £88,500 a week, until 2022.
It would make the full back one of the most highly paid players in Serie A but compared to salaries in the Premier League, it is substantially less. Chelsea would likely be prepared to at least double even Juventus’s new contract offer and it will be interesting to see whether Sandro takes the deal.
If he doesn’t, the Blues will no doubt make another attempt for the player in January after failing to sign another left back before the close of the transfer window.