Danny Drinkwater has told Leicester City that he is willing to complete a move to Chelsea this summer. The Blues had failed in their attempts to sign the England international last summer as the Foxes were unwilling to let go of two of their most prized recruits together, with only N'Golo Kante making the move to Stamford Bridge, where he won the title for the second year in succession.
The Mirror reports that Drinkwater is keen on a move this time around and would add some much needed strength and depth to the squad, having already signed Tiemoue Bakayoko to play the holding role alongside Kante. Drinkwater would be a quality replacement for Nemanja Matic, who signed for Manchester United, despite Conte's protestations.
Chelsea will be taking part in four competitions in the upcoming campaign following their return to the Champions League, having missed last season after finishing tenth in the 2015/16 campaign. Conte is keen to have quality alternatives in all positions and hence he is looking to bring in further strength in that midfield position.
However, Leicester are under no pressure to sell as they hold the upper hand on the midfielder 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 but with the 27-year-old set to put in a transfer request, it will be difficult for the Foxes to convince him, only a week ahead of their game against Arsenal.
Chelsea have made four major signings thus far, in the form of Bakayoko, Alvaro Morata Willy Caballero and Antonio Rudiger but Conte recently told a press conference that they need more players to sustain a title defence and compete for other trophies. The Blues have been linked with moves for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Ross Barkley this summer, but are yet to elicit a response from Arsenal or Everton.
"We all know what happened two seasons ago. It will be very important to avoid the bad season," Conte said ahead of the game with Arsenal.
"For sure we have to work, to continue to work very hard and work harder, to improve and continue to improve. In the transfer window to improve our squad. It is normal to be a bit afraid for the bad season, it happened to Leicester. In Italy, there isn't two without three and we must pay great attention."