Chelsea won’t rest until the Leicester’s title-winning season is erased from existence.
The Foxes historic achievement came in between title-winnings campaigns for the Blues – the signing of N’Golo Kante proving a decisive factor is restoring order to England’s top flight.
Now Chelsea want to sign Kante’s former midfield partner in crime, Danny Drinkwater.
However, the champions have told Leicester they won’t pay more than £30million for the 27-year-old – who they first considered this time last year.
Antonio Conte wants to strengthen his options in midfield following Nemanja Matic’s move to Man United.
The Italian gaffer has made it clear he will not be held to ransom by Leicester, and will only do a deal if the midlands club are fair with their asking price.
As if they concept of fair asking prices still exists…
The London club splashed out £32million to sign Kante a year ago, and even allowing for an inflation in transfer fees they do not want to pay any more than that for his old central midfield partner.
Chelsea know they need to bring in more players in the coming weeks having let two central midfielders leave the club this summer.
In addition to Matic’s departure, Nathaniel Chalobah decided to join Watford in search of regular football.
With Tiemoue Bakayoko arriving in a £40million move from Monaco, it leaves Conte at least one man down in a key area of the pitch.
Cesc Fabregas was employed in a deeper role during the club’s tour of China and Singapore, but there are doubts whether he has the energy or pace to play that role regularly in the Premier League.
So Drinkwater is a viable option for the Blues.
But while Chelsea’s need is obvious, and the chance to join one of the big clubs is understood to be exciting for Drinkwater, the Foxes hold all the power in negotiations.
Leicester boss Craig Shakespeare believes Drinkwater is an important player in his plans ahead of the new season.
But selling one of the club’s highest wage-earners would also represent an opportunity for Leicester to trim the wage bill that spiralled following their title success.
Why not go the whole way and sign Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy as well, Chelsea?
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