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Chelsea still chasing English trio; Alex Sandro, Virgil van Dijk also on the radar

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Chelsea v Sunderland - Premier League Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images

There are now only eight days until the end of the summer transfer window, and most of the football world’s transfer business, including in the Premier League, is winding down — bar the havoc at the Camp Nou. But not at Chelsea, at least we’re so told repeatedly, where the ranks have not yet been filled out with enough bodies to suit the demands of fighting on multiple fronts, although we did show last weekend that there is enough spirit in the squad and tactical tricks in Antonio Conte to at least stand a chance in the league.

According to the Telegraph, again, Chelsea remain hopeful, again, in addressing these concerns before the end of the current transfer window. Again. The main subjects of our interest are, again, the English trio of Arsenal's Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, again, Leicester City's Danny Drinkwater, again, and Everton's Ross Barkley, again. Non-English names included again are Juve’s Alex Sandro, again, and Southampton’s Virgil van Dijk, again.

While Arsenal have made a token effort at re-signing Oxlade-Chamberlain, the 24-year-old rejected their latest lowball and is apparently intent on leaving the club at some point in the next 12 months. If that were to happen over the course of next week, Chelsea would be ready to soften Arsenal’s loss with a pile of cash £35m high. But Wenger has shown no sign in coming to his senses and thus remains adamant that he’d rather let all his big stars in the final year of their contracts leave for free next summer than sell for many millions this summer.

Drinkwater is an almost equally silly situation, with Chelsea supposedly submitted another bid below asking price earlier this week, as per the report by the Daily Mail. While the £30m on offer is twice as much as Chelsea’s initial bid of £15m, it’s still £10m below Leicester City's valuation. Drinkwater may or may not be keen to join Chelsea, but that won’t happen until the right offer arrives.

As for Barkley, Tottenham seem to be leading that chase, with Barkley’s current deal at Everton ending in 10 months time but his value taking a big hit in recent weeks thanks to a fairly significant injury that’s set to keep him out for three months. Everton appear to be banking on a bidding war between Spurs and Chelsea to try to get the 23-year-old’s price back up closer to their initial asking price of £50m from the £20m that either club are willing to offer at the moment.

Though there’s good reason to worry about the lack of depth in the squad, Chelsea have made good signings this transfer window already in Álvaro Morata, Tiemoué Bakayoko and Antonio Rüdiger, all of whom have already made a positive impact in the just the first few games of the season. But adding more useful names to the group is necessary to keep pace with the Manchester teams while also making a good fist of our return to Europe.

P.S.: Brief links with Antonio Candreva and Claudio Marchisio can be safely ignored, and not just because they are both over 30 and thus basically ineligible for long-term contracts at Chelsea. Candreva’s agent recently joined the Inter head coach in rubbishing any exit rumors while Marchisio is back in the fold at Juventus. Next!

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