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According to the Daily Mail, Drinkwater, 27, is high on Antonio Conte‘s wish-list and Chelsea could certainly do with another central midfielder as the report also claims Renato Sanches, Ross Barkley and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are other options.
After selling Matic to Manchester United on Monday (a somewhat bizarre move, despite the huge amount of cash) the Blues have N'Golo Kante, Cesc Fabregas and new signing Tiemoue Bakayoko (he will miss the start of the season as he recovers from minor knee surgery) who can play in midfield. Not bad, and even David Luiz could step forward into midfield if needed.
That said, after losing Nathaniel Chaloboah and Matic, then loaning out Ruben Loftus-Cheek to Crystal Palace for the season, all of a sudden Conte’s midfield options are looking thin (insert smarmy joke about his hair plugs, here).
Drinkwater would, of course, be reunited with Kante in midfield if he did arrived at Stamford Bridge and the former Manchester United midfielder will want to push as hard as he can to try and get back into the England squad in a World Cup year. Drinkwater signed a new long-term deal in the aftermath of Leicester winning the PL title, but with Wilfred Ndidi, Daniel Amarety, Nampalys Mendy, Vicente Iborra, Andy King and Matty James around, could the Foxes cash in on Drinkwater?
He wouldn’t be first choice at Chelsea, at least to start with, with Bakayoko and Kante likely to man the areas in front of Chelsea’s three central defenders. Yet Drinkwater is much more than a stopper as he’s shown over the years with raking assists up to Jamie Vardy and Co. plus scoring a few screamers himself. That and the lure of being part of a squad in the UEFA Champions League could tempt Drinkwater, but a bid of over $30 million is likely needed to force Leicester to sell.
File this one under: “yeah, sure buddy…”
Per a report in the Daily Express, Inter Milan are chasing Liverpool winger Sadio Mane. The most questionable part of this report, aside from the belief that Liverpool would actually let Mane leave, is that Inter is offering just $46.2 million for Mane. That’s pretty much the same amount Liverpool paid Southampton for Mane 12 months.
So, yeah, Mane is probably worth over $75 million, at least.
The Senegalese flyer was a sensation at Anfield last season, winning Liverpool’s Player of the Year and included in the PFA Team of the Year before his season was ended in early April with a serious knee injury.
Mane handed Liverpool a huge boost by returning to action last weekend against Hertha Berlin in a friendly and it is inconcievable that Klopp would sell either Mane or Philippe Coutinho — no matter what Barcelona offers for him, the Reds simply cannot let him leave — this summer if he wants his project to be a success.
Unlike Liverpool’s other attackers Mane possess electric pass and his addition seemed like the final piece of the jigsaw for Klopp’s attack as the trickery of Roberto Firmino, Coutinho and Adam Lallana had an outlet and teams could be stretched by the threat of Mane’s pace on the counter.
Of course, Inter, like their rivals AC Milan, do have wealthy investors planning to pump plenty of cash into the club but it seems like Mane has a job to do at Liverpool for at least the next few seasons as they aim to become regular PL title contenders and in the UEFA Champions League.