With his immediate future up in the air at Stamford Bridge, a German club could be pouncing on the potential availability of a Chelsea youth product.
According to a report by The Mirror, Ruben Loftus-Cheek is coveted by Schalke and could move to the Bundesliga on loan before the close of the German transfer window on August 31. Even thought the English window has shut, clubs can still offload players, only unable to register new players to sign after the deadline on August 9.
The 22-year-old impressed enough at the youth level to earn a place on Gareth Southgate‘s World Cup squad, and performed well in his limited role this summer. He played in four England matches in Russia, including three starts.
The interest from Schalke would leave Chelsea with a curious decision. While they would love to keep Loftus-Cheek this season given his recent development, they also have a very crowded midfield. The Blues started Ross Barkley at CM in the season opening win over Huddersfield Town, with Jorginho and N'Golo Kante behind the former Everton youngster. They also have Mateo Kovacic on loan from Real Madrid, the currently injured Cesc Fabregas, and Danny Drinkwater in the squad.
Meanwhile, Schalke’s only true central midfielders on the roster are 21-year-old Suat Serdar and 19-year-old American Weston McKinnie. They do have a host of defensive-minded midfielders in Nabil Bentaleb, Omar Mascarell, and Johannes Geis plus a number of midfielders who specialize more on the edges of the pitch.
Loftus-Cheek’s impressive recent development could be hampered if he rotted on the Chelsea bench, and might benefit playing at a club where he could earn European playing time with Schalke taking part in the Champions League this season.
However, according to The Guardian, it’s possible Loftus-Cheek could turn the loan offer down and stay at Chelsea hoping to earn playing time. It would be tough for the England international to leave Chelsea given how much praise manager Maurizio Sarri has received from players for his enjoyable system, but given the benefits of playing in a less crowded squad, he might consider the offer should it arrive.