Antonio Conte is looking to sign a replacement for Nemanja Matic, who became Manchester United's third summer signing on Monday (31 July), and has identified Leicester City's Danny Drinkwater as the perfect candidate to fill the void left by the Serbian.
The Italian coach allowed Matic to join a direct rival after he was exiled from the first-team despite playing a key role in the Chelsea's title win last season. AS Monaco defensive midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko has been signed as an alternative and he is likely to partner N'Golo Kante at the heart of the midfield.
Chelsea will be competing in four competitions in the upcoming campaign following their return to the Champions League after a one-season hiatus and Conte is keen to have quality alternates in all positions and hence he is looking to bring in a replacement for Matic.
According to Sky Sports, the Premier League champions have made Drinkwater one of their midfield targets as they look to raid the Foxes for the second time in two summers. They prized Kante away from the King Power Stadium last year, and the Frenchman has enjoyed plenty of success since his move including being named PFA and FWA player of the year after starring in their title winning campaign.
Leicester, however, are not under pressure to sell and will hold all the cards in terms of negotiations after Drinkwater committed his long-term future to the club by agreeing a new four-year deal last summer. He is a key part of Craig Shakespeare's squad and they are unlikely to entertain a sale with the season opener against Arsenal just 10 days away.
Chelsea have also been linked with moves for Bayern Munich's Renato Sanches, Everton's Ross Barkley and Arsenal's Alex Oxlade Chamberlain. The former was expected to leave the German champions, but they have since performed a u-turn, while the Toffees midfielder is available, the Merseyside club's valuation of £50m ($66m) is said to be driving away interested suitors.