Chelsea recently bid £25m plus add-ons but this was rejected by the Foxes, who are keen to hang onto their England international. Drinkwater signed a new deal last season and with four years remaining, Leicester are in the driving seat for negotiations. It’s understood that the deposed champions want £40m for their midfield lynchpin.
It’s a meteoric rise for the former Manchester United trainee. The 27-year-old left Old Trafford in 2012 having failed to break into the first team, following loan spells around the Championship with Huddersfield, Cardiff, Watford and Barnsley.
Since moving to the King Power stadium, he has gained 3 caps for his country and retains hope of featuring in the England squad in Russia next summer. A move to Chelsea will raise his profile, further helping his cause.
If Drinkwater moves, it will be one of the more left-field of the summer’s transfers, not quite on a par with Manchester City’s rumoured interest in West Bromwich Albion’s Johnny Evans but not far off.
Chelsea’s title defence stumbled at home to Burnley last week and Antonio Conte is desperate to strengthen his midfield. His primary target is Arsenal’s Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain but as yet, the Gunners are showing no signs of being willing to sell their 24-year-old midfielder, especially not for the £25m valuation the Blues placed on his head.