The Blues want to see their England international midfielder leave ahead of transfer deadline day, but he is proving expensive for interested clubs
Norwich City and Brighton have enquired about a move for Chelsea outcast Danny Drinkwater, but Goal has learned that there are doubts as to whether they can afford the midfielder’s wages.
The Blues signed Drinkwater for £35 million ($42m) in 2017 and offered him £100,000-a-week in wages.
Given the England international would be looking for that salary to be matched, he would instantly become one of the highest-earners at both interested clubs.
Norwich and Brighton are both exploring other options, with the Canaries also interested in Watford’s Nathaniel Chalobah, who developed in the Chelsea academy.
Drinkwater has only played 23 times for Chelsea in his two seasons since joining the club from Leicester City and has not made a first-team appearance for over a year after being completely frozen out by Maurizio Sarri last term.
Frank Lampard has given copportunities to the 29-year-old during pre-season, but he is not set to be an integral part of the squad for the upcoming season.
Drinkwater has been left out of the last two friendly matches ahead of the Blues first competitive game of the season against Manchester United in the Premier League on Sunday.
Fellow midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko is also in talks with several clubs, but his £120,000-a-week wages also pose a problem having failed to make an impact at Stamford Bridge since his £40m arrival from Monaco in 2017.
Galatasaray board member Sukru Hanedar travelled to London for face-to-face talks with the Blues on Tuesday as the west London outfit focus their efforts on offloading players ahead of Thursday’s transfer deadline.
There remain doubts that the Turkish giants can offer enough of a loan fee and wage contribution to entice Chelsea into a loan deal for their unwanted midfielder.
The Blues are keen to make as much of their £40m outlay back as possible for Bakayoko, and they have the extra incentive to sell him as they need to offload foreign players due to limits imposed by the Premier League and UEFA on non-homegrown footballers.
The Blues need to offload both Bakayoko and another overseas star, with Davide Zappacosta looking the likely candidate to be cut.
The full-back is keen on a move back to Serie A after joining the club on the same day as Drinkwater in a £23m deal from Torino.
The Italian transfer window is open until August 23 despite the Premier League and Championship transfer window closing on Thursday at 5pm BST (12pm ET).
Any further outgoing from Stamford Bridge are likely to be temporary moves from younger players, with Trevoh Chalobah looking set to renew his Blues contract and go out on loan for another season as Huddersfield Town compete for his services.
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