Chelsea have told Ruben Loftus-Cheek that they will not entertain selling him this summer, as they see him playing a prominent role in the first-team.
Loftus-Cheek, 22, has come through the youth system at Stamford Bridge having been with them since the of 7.
He has seen his chances limited thus far, and spent last season on-loan at Crystal Palace – but he was hugely successful during stay with The Eagles, and that form earned him a place in England’s World Cup squad.
Loftus-Cheek, who has three-years left on his current deal, has fired a warning to Chelsea that he wants first-team football.
“That’s the key for me next season regarding where I end up: I want to play,” he said.
“I do understand Chelsea are a big club and there is always pressure on managers to win games and trophies. So I understand they might not be willing to take a chance on someone at a bigger club.
“We’ll see what happens. I’m confident in my ability and that I can do well, wherever it is. But I’m not thinking about whether I’m going to play at Chelsea right now. I’m only focused on the tournament.”
I understand that Chelsea’s hierarchy have made it known to the player’s representatives that they have no plans to sell him, despite huge interest.
It is understood that up to a dozen clubs, from the Premier League and abroad, have registered an interest with Chelsea, but I believe they were told that Loftus-Cheek would not be moving.
Mauricio Sarri is expected to be announced as new Chelsea boss in the coming days, and with Gianfranco Zola expected to be part of the backroom staff- it is believed the club are hopeful some of their talented home grown products, like Loftus-Cheek will feature prominently under the new regime.
Bookmakers believe that Loftus-Cheek is most likely to remain at Chelsea, and he is odds-on with Betway at 8/11 – with Everton favourites to land him if he does leave at 3/1.
Betway’s Alan Alger said: “Ruben Loftus-Cheek impressed many with his cameo for England against Tunisia on Sunday and he’ll surely be seeking regular first team football next season.
“Everton at 3/1 have emerged as the market leaders to sign the powerful midfielder if he decides he wants a challenge away from Stamford Bridge ahead of Liverpool at 6/1.
“He is still favoured at 8/11 to remain at Chelsea next season, while it’s 7/1 for him to return to Crystal Palace having enjoyed a successful loan spell there last season.”