Antonio Conte is keen to bolster Chelsea's homegrown quota after allowing a number of English players to leave this summer and has targeted moves for Arsenal's Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Everton's Ross Barkley.
The midfield duo are in the final-year of their contracts with their respective clubs and are yet to agree new deals. The Italian coach is keen to take advantage of the uncertainty and bring them to Stamford Bridge this summer.
Oxlade-Chamberlain is yet to agree a new deal and has been on the radar of a number of Premier League clubs. Liverpool are said to be leading the way for the £25m-rated midfielder's signature, but Manchester City and Chelsea have also been linked with moves.
The 23-year-old Englishman was part of Arsenal's pre-season squad that played games in Australia and China and remains an integral part of Arsene Wenger's plans ahead of next season. The Frenchman has dismissed any talks of a summer move by insisting that Oxlade-Chamberlain will remain an Arsenal player beyond the summer.
Barkley, on the other hand, has rejected Everton's offer of a new contract and manager Ronald Koeman revealed recently that the midfielder is '100%' certain to leave this summer. The Toffees value the England international at £50m ($65.3) but are yet to receive any concrete offers for the midfielder.
According to the Mirror, Conte is keen to sign the duo to boost the Blues' homegrown quota, but will not make a move until Everton reduce their valuation of Barkley. The Toffees midfielder is on the final-year of his contract and has attracted interest from more than one club including Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur.
Chelsea have allowed Nathaniel Chalobah, Dominic Solanke and John Terry to leave on a permanent basis, while Ruben Loftus-Cheek has left on loan. It leaves Gary Cahill as the only Englishman in the Premier League champions' first-team at the moment. They have only five homegrown players in the first-team squad at the moment - Cahill, Victor Moses, Andreas Christensen, Cesc Fabregas and Charly Musonda – three short of the eight player minimum quota.
Conte has already signed four players thus far this summer – Willy Caballero, Antonio Rudiger, Tiemoue Bakayoko and Alvaro Morata – and is said to be keen to add four more players. Apart from midfield, he is also looking for reinforcements in the wing-back areas with Alex Sandro said to be a priority target.
The Juventus left-back has been on the Italian coach's radar since the start of the transfer window, but the Turin club are reluctant to let him leave. Chelsea will have to meet Serie A champions' £60m valuation to have any chance of tempting them to sell the Brazilian this summer.