According to reports, Aston Villa are now interested in signing Chelsea midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek this summer.
The 25-year-old currently finds himself on loan at fellow Premier League side Fulham, and it now appears that he could be set for a permanent move away from Stamford Bridge.
TEAMtalk claim that Dean Smith’s side are among a number of clubs interested in signing him this summer, with Fulham and Crystal Palace also said to be in the hunt – this follows reports from John Percy last September about Villa’s interest in taking him on loan for the 2020/21 campaign.
The report from TEAMtalk added that, while Loftus-Cheek is keen to remain at Stamford Bridge, the Blues don’t see him as part of their long-term plans and “have already told interested parties that they would be open to a sale”.
After bursting onto the scene as a highly-rated talent at Chelsea, it’s fair to say Loftus-Cheek hasn’t quite hit the heights expected of him, with injuries really stalling his career.
However, the Englishman still has the best years ahead of him at 25, and Smith may fancy his chances of rejuvenating the 6 foot 3 powerhouse and getting him to finally realise his potential.
After an impressive display against Everton earlier this year, Fulham manager Scott Parker was full of praise for the midfielder, saying: “I thought he was brilliant. Ruben came in and we’ve worked really hard together, in terms of the information I’m trying to give him and how he can have a big impact on the pitch.
“He came on and made a real difference. He looked every bit of a top, top player. He got the ball, was brave, scored a goal, got in the box, and was dynamic in between the lines.
“He’s got a real ability and he’ll be big for us this year. He needs to keep working on it and keep listening to what we’re saying. No doubt he’ll keep improving like we’ve seen today.”
Cesar Azpilicueta, his teammate at parent club Chelsea, is a big fan, claiming [via chelseafc.com] that the Englishman has “unbelievable strength”, adding: “He can push past defenders, get in the box, score goals, and he defends. He is a complete player.”
It’s a gamble well worth taking for Smith and Aston Villa this summer.