AS Monaco have reportedly set their sights on Ruben Loftus-Cheek, and are plotting a shock loan move for the Chelsea star ahead of next week’s transfer deadline.
According to a report by The Sun, AS Monaco are scouring the possibility of signing Ruben Loftus-Cheek on a season long loan deal ahead of the August 31 transfer deadline in France. The 22-year-old is dissatisfied with his current role at Chelsea, who are unwilling to part ways with him this summer.
Loftus-Cheek is one of the most exciting young prospects to have emanated from the fabled Chelsea academy in recent years. In fact, ever since he first broke into the first-team setup in 2014, the young midfielder has been tipped to finally end the curse of the academy graduates and the Blues’ loaning system.
Nearly four years since making his first-team debut for Chelsea though, Loftus-Cheek is still nowhere near establishing himself as a regular, although it was believed that 2018-19 could finally be the season he’d do that, following a solid loan stint at Crystal Palace and a promising World Cup campaign with England.
Instead, the arrival of Mateo Kovacic on-loan from Real Madrid means Loftus-Cheek is essentially second in the pecking order as far backup options are concerned. With a role as a bit-part player on the cards for the current campaign, the player has reportedly been seeking showdown talks with Chelsea over his future at Stamford Bridge.
With a regular slot unlikely to be coming his way this season, the next logical step would be to join the Chelsea loan army once again, even though Maurizio Sarri has indicated that the Blues want to keep the young Englishman until at least the January transfer window, and for good reason.
With Tiemoue Bakayoko joining AC Milan and Danny Drinkwater being surplus to requirements for Sarri, Ross Barkley is the only other recognised option at the Chelsea manager’s disposal. AS Monaco though, are weighing up a shock loan move for Loftus-Cheek, and are ready to test the Blues’ resolve on the player’s availability.
A move to Stade Louis II could indeed prove to be a masterstroke on the Blues’ part, even though the principality club look stacked in central midfield options. Monaco manager Leonardo Jardim is known to work wonders with young talents, as evidenced by the rise of players like Kylian Mbappe, Thomas Lemar and Benjamin Mendy, among others, in recent years.
A move to the European giants could also help Loftus-Cheek clock up regular first-team minutes, which would aid his development. Upon returning to Stamford Bridge next summer, the 22-year-old could stake claim for a role as one of the first-choice midfielders, provided Chelsea fail to make Mateo Kovacic’s stay a permanent one.
For now though, a temporary move away from the club looks like a prudent step to take for both the Blues as well as Loftus-Cheek, even though he was initially eager to fight for his place. It now remains to be seen if Monaco can seal the deal quickly, or if Chelsea manage to keep hold of the young Englishman.