According to a number of reports across Europe, Ruben Loftus-Cheek is a wanted man and Chelsea could be persuaded to sell this winter.
Reports in England suggested Friday that Loftus-Cheek was wanted by West Ham and Bournemouth, both of which want a loan for the rest of the season at least, and are heavily interested in persuading Chelsea to add a permanent purchase option as well. Should Chelsea put Loftus Cheek up for sale, it would likely spur even more clubs into action, given his solid performances both for club and country over the past six months.
The 22-year-old has impressed new manager Maurizio Sarri with his hard working attitude, with the Blues boss mentioning many times that other young players would have bailed after receiving such little playing time under a new manager, but he’s been impressed by the England international who has worked in training to learn his new boss’s tactics. Still, there is no place for him in the Chelsea squad, unable to find time in a crowded midfield that includes N'Golo Kante, Jorginho, Mateo Kovacic, Cesc Fabregas, and Ross Barkley.
As a result, Loftus-Cheek has earned just 221 Premier League minutes this season, along with 400 Europa League minutes, and he has cashed in with a whopping six goals in his 11 total appearances. He has impressed enough to earn appearances in each of Chelsea’s last three Premier League matches, although only one of those was via the starting lineup.
Still, he may ultimately choose that he needs to play regularly, and there could be opportunities outside of England as well. According to Italian publication Tuttosport, AC Milan is interested as well. Milan midfielder Lucas Biglia is injured and on-loan Blues yoiungster Tiemoue Bakayoko has not performed up to standards and with Milan crashing out of the Europa League in the group stage. While Loftus-Cheek wouldn’t exactly be a direct replacement for those more defensive-minded midfielders, it would generally add depth to Milan’s depleted midfield.
It will be a difficult decision for both parties, but should either side believe moving on is the best option, there will clearly be no shortage of suitors.