Both Milan clubs are sizing up a forgotten Chelsea star who could make way this summer, and a move to Inter could help Todd Boehly land a huge €50m upgrade, per reports.
The Evening Standard are among those to report something of a firesale is on the cards at Stamford Bridge this summer.
Chelsea must balance their books in lieu of their colossal outlay on transfers over the last two windows. Over £550m has been spent and a squad bursting at the seams must now be cut down to size.
The ES listed 15 players who could depart and among them was midfielder, Ruben Loftus-Cheek.
The 27-year-old has been on Chelsea’s books for 20 years, though has failed to ever establish himself as a regular starter since breaking into the first team in 2014.
Loftus-Cheek is behind Enzo Fernandez, N’Golo Kante and Mateo Kovacic in the engine room pecking order. Conor Gallagher provides further competition, while much is expected of rising youngster Carney Chukwuemeka down the line.
Loftus-Cheek is out of contract in the summer of 2024 and Chelsea do hold an option for an extra 12 months. However, Todd Boehly will begin exploring sales for any player poised to enter the last two years of their deals if a new contract isn’t likely.
According to Football Italia, Loftus-Cheek may find an escape route to Italy if given the boot at season’s end.
AC Milan are sizing the midfielder up, though it’s a move to bitter rivals Inter that will interest Chelsea the most.
Loftus-Cheek can unlock huge goalkeeper upgrade
That’s because it’s suggested a Loftus-Cheek move to Inter could coincide with goalkeeper Andre Onana moving the other way.
Onana, 27, is among a handful of high profile stars Inter are willing to cash in on to help balance their own books this summer.
Onana was a free agent signing from Ajax in 2022 and as such, any transfer fee they generate will represent pure profit on their balance sheet. The Cameroon ace leads the Champions League in the clean sheets category this year with six.
Tuttosport reported Inter have already begun eyeing up an Onana replacement in the form of Empoli’s Guglielmo Vicario.
As such, bids of around €50m (approx. £44m) for Onana will be entertained and that’ll alert Man Utd, Tottenham and Chelsea.
All three English heavyweights have been linked with Onana, though a move to Chelsea could be pushed through if Loftus-Cheek moves the other way. That’ll make grim reading for Spurs fans whose club are seeking to replace Hugo Lloris at season’s end.
Loftus-Cheek is one of two gettable Chelsea players Inter have targeted if a cash-plus-player deal is to become a reality. The other is Trevoh Chalobah.
Chelsea’s current goalkeeping options are Kepa Arrizalabaga and Edouard Mendy. Mendy is among those believed to be transfer-listed, while doubts remain over Kepa despite being among the few bright sparks in blue this season.
Interestingly, 90min recently reported Loftus-Cheek would ‘prioritise’ a move to Serie A in the event he is pushed out of Chelsea this summer.
Serie A has developed a reputation as being a league where Premier League stars whose careers have stalled can relight their fire.
Prime examples over recent seasons include Chris Smalling, Fikayo Tomori, Ashley Young, Nemanja Matic, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Romelu Lukaku.