Antonio Conte wants to sign Leicester’s Danny Drinkwater (Picture: Getty)

Chelsea are reportedly prepared to make a second bid to seal the transfer of Leicester City midfielder Danny Drinkwater, having seen an opening offer of £15million rejected.

The Blues could now go up to over £25m for the England international, though it is claimed the Foxes want as much as £40m for such a key member of their squad.

Antonio Conte insulted by accusation he deliberately picked weakened Chelsea team

Drinkwater is currently out of action with injury and was not involved in Leicester’s Premier League opening-day defeat to Arsenal on Friday night.

The player himself is thought to be keen on the move despite him being unlikely to be ahead of N’Golo Kante, Tiemoue Bakayoko or Cesc Fabregas in Antonio Conte’s pecking order.

Chelsea look set to come back in with a second bid for Drinkwater (Picture: Getty)

The Italian is desperate to strengthen the depth of his squad to cope with the added demands of Champions League football this season, with Drinkwater a prime target.

With Nemanja Matic’s departure to Manchester United leaving Chelsea a little light in midfield, Conte is pressing for his club to go back in for Drinkwater with an improved offer, according to the Daily Telegraph.

The 27-year-old has shown his quality in his time at the King Power Stadium, and his fine form alongside Kante during Leicester’s shock 2015/16 title-winning campaign first drew Chelsea’s interest a year ago.

Chelsea 2017/18 Fixtures

Plymouth Argyle (A) – Tues Aug 15
Tottenham (A) – Sat Aug 20
Everton (H) – Sun Aug 27
Leicester City (A) – Sat Sep 9
Arsenal (H) – Sun Sep 17
Stoke City (A) – Sat Sep 23

The west Londoners prioritised a deal for Kante instead, however, but the pair could now be reunited at Stamford Bridge if Conte gets his way.

Could these two be back together at Chelsea soon? (Picture: Getty)

The addition of Drinkwater could also still see Chelsea pursue moves for fellow England internationals Ross Barkley and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain as Conte eyes as many as four more new signings before the transfer deadline.

The 48-year-old again hit out at his club for failing to strengthen adequately this summer, saying doubters are right to question Chelsea’s title credentials this season.

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When pressed on why, he alluded to transfers again, saying: ‘Why? I have always answered this question, not only once but twice, three times.’

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