Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri has personally blocked West Ham from pursuing Ruben Loftus-Cheek in hopes of bringing the central midfielder to the London Stadium in January, per reports by the The Mirror.
Manuel Pellegrini had reportedly identified the 22-year-old as a worthwhile addition in January as the Chilean looked to bulk out his midfield for the post-New Year run.
The English playmaker spent last season on loan at Crystal Palace, where he featured in 24 Premier League games, scoring twice and assisting his fellow Eagles three times.
Minutes at Stamford Bridge have been far harder to come by for the 6ft 3in Lewisham-born star, only starting three of his Blues outings – all in the Europa League and Carabao Cup – while coming off the bench three times in the Premier League for a total of 94 minutes.
Loftus-Cheek’s impressive display featuring a home hat-trick against BATE Borisov and a goal off the bench against Burnley could now act as the start to his true Chelsea career, or just as another indicator of why teams like West Ham chased his signature.
Even though The Mirror’s report suggests Sarri is personally blocking the move, Pellegrini and the Hammers board should at least try their luck in making a deal happen in January.
At worst, the Irons would be knocked back again with the article suggesting a loan agreement was plotted in the summer to no avail. On the other hand, there is a chance Loftus-Cheek could step in and ask his Italian coach to step aside in order to get more minutes.
The London Stadium side could certainly do with the academy graduate’s presence with more players dropping at the sides with injuries than coming back. A situation that has seen Robert Snodgrass hauled in from the wings to form a new central partnership with Mark Noble or Pedro Obiang.