Watford remain optimistic of signing Nathaniel Chalobah from Chelsea, despite little movement on the deal in more than a week.

A £5million offer was submitted and the 22-year-old understood to be close to joining the Hornets in the middle of last week, after turning down a five-year deal at Chelsea.

Antonio Conte has since stepped up his efforts to keep the England Under-21 midfielder at Stamford Bridge, with the Blues struggling to fill their homegrown quota ahead of the new season.

But Chalobah is still yet to sign a £60,000-a-week offer tabled by the Stamford Bridge club, and Watford still consider Chalobah close to moving to Vicarage Road.

A hold-up to the conclusion of Chelsea’s move for Tiemoue Bakayoko from Monaco has also slowed proceedings, with the £40m man’s transfer hampered as he recovered from knee surgery undertaken earlier in the year.

The delay has unsurprisingly alerted other clubs to Chalobah’s availability, with Southampton reported to have made a bid earlier this week, although it looks to be just paper talk - with Oriel Romeu and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg both capable anchormen in the Saints midfield.

Swansea City are also said to have tabled a bid for the Sierra Leone-born man, but having already splashed £11m on Roque Mesa, another holding player, within the past week, they are already well-staffed in the middle of the park.

Reports in Italy state Chalobah is a target of Torino in Serie A, a division he has experience of thanks to a year-long loan at Napoli in 2015/16, albeit with only five appearances to his name during that time.