Danny Drinkwater could be on the verge of a shock exit from Chelsea this summer, just a year after his big-money move to Stamford Bridge.

According to Mirror, Chelsea midfielder Danny Drinkwater has been linked with a shock exit from the club this summer. The former Leicester City superstar made a £35 million move to Stamford Bridge last summer but has failed to make an impact at West London.

It is believed that the English international is not included in the plans of the newly appointed manager Maurizio Sarri as he looks to engineer a potential squad overhaul.

Along with Drinkwater, Tiemoue Bakayoko has been deemed surplus to the requirement at Chelsea next season. And reports believe the Frenchman is closing on a move to Milan this summer.

As for Drinkwater, his debut season with Chelsea was marred by injuries, as he featured in just five league outings. In a midfield that was already struggling under Antonio Conte, his absence receded Chelsea into further mediocrity as they finished fifth in the final league standings.

And following the arrival of Sarri, Drinkwater’s impressive work ethic might not be necessary for the Italian mastermind’s unique style of play that mostly revolves around keeping possession of the ball, unlike Conte’s direct football.

ROME, ITALY - OCTOBER 31: Danny Drinkwater of Chelsea FC reacts after the UEFA Champions League group C match between AS Roma and Chelsea FC at Stadio Olimpico on October 31, 2017 in Rome, Italy. (Photo by Paolo Bruno/Getty Images )

Drinkwater has endured a tough season at Chelsea. (Photo by Paolo Bruno/Getty Images )

As a result, he will be allowed to leave the club before the transfer deadline on August 9 with few reports already claiming strong interest from Southampton and Crystal Palace.

Palace, in particular, are believed to be leading the chase for the Chelsea ace, as per reports from The Sun. The Eagles have already lost the services of star player Yohan Cabaye earlier this summer and are in dire need of a quality midfielder.

In fact, Luka Milivojevic, who is coming on the back of an impressive season, remains as Palace’s only reliable option in midfield alongside James McArthur. As a result, they are reportedly plotting a loan move for Drinkwater, who could be an ideal candidate to replace Cabaye at Selhurst Park next season.

As for the player himself, a move away from Stamford Bridge makes a world of sense. At the age of 28, Drinkwater should be at the peak of his game and thus, will be keen on securing proper game-time, which he is unlikely to receive under the leadership of Sarri.

Meanwhile, Chelsea are prepared to splurge huge money on another midfielder this summer, following the arrival of Napoli superstar Jorginho. Miralem Pjanic, in particular, has emerged as a top target for the Blues although it remains to be seen whether Juventus are willing to let go of their prized asset.

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