Premier League • England

Mourinho has secret weapon to snag Chelsea star Tuchel has revitalised

Ruben Loftus-Cheek Chelsea

Jose Mourinho has a plan in mind to relieve Thomas Tuchel and Chelsea of an increasingly important cog in their side this winter, per a report.

The Blues have endured a rocky patch of form lately which has seen a gap emerge to Manchester City and Liverpool. While dips in form and individual errors have played a part, the biggest issue plaguing Tuchel at the moment is the injury list.

Central midfield has been particularly hard hit. N’Golo Kante, Mateo Kovacic and Jorginho have all missed matches through injury in recent months.

That has led to Ruben Loftus-Cheek being given more opportunities in a Chelsea shirt than have usually been forthcoming under previous managers. Indeed, Loftus-Cheek has featured in each of Chelsea’s last 12 league matches and has racked up seven starts during the streak.

The 25-year-old has impressed on the pitch, though Tuchel revealed on Friday that he too has been bitten by the injury bug.

Now, according to Italian outlet Il Romanista, Loftus-Cheek’s revival this season has attracted the attention of Mourinho.

The Roma boss is stated to be in desperate need of midfield reinforcements in January. Loftus-Cheek is one name high on his list of targets.

Tammy Abraham could prove ‘decisive’

Roma are stated to be seeking a loan deal with an option to buy in the summer. Given Chelsea’s midfield has been decimated with injury this season, the Blues are expected to resist any Roma approach.

However, the lure of more guaranteed game-time could reportedly appeal. Furthermore, the presence of former Blue Tammy Abraham in Rome could be Mourinho’s secret weapon.

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The outlet state Abraham’s presence could be ‘decisive’ in helping to lure Loftus-Cheek to Italy.

Other candidates Roma have reportedly identified to bolster their ranks are Borussia Monchengladbach’s Denis Zakaria and Austria international Florian Grillitsch. The idea of bringing former Roma midfielder Leandro Paredes back to the club is also mooted.

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Everton transfer gives Chelsea deal huge boost

Meanwhile, Chelsea have been given a free run to sign unsettled Everton star Lucas Digne after the Toffees lined up Ukraine international Vitaliy Myolenko.

The left-back, 22, is on course to become an Everton player when the January transfer window opens. Trusted transfer guru Fabrizio Romano broke the news, revealing Myolenko would complete his medical with the Toffees today (Friday).

The Dynamo Kiev star has reportedly agreed personal terms and will set Everton back around £17.9m. However, Myolenko’s arrival may have a direct impact on Chelsea’s plans for the winter window.

The Blues are light at left-wingback following Ben Chilwell’s ACL injury. Marcos Alonso has filled the void, though the Spaniard is woefully out of form at present. As such, Chelsea have drawn links with Everton’s Lucas Digne. A loan deal with an option to buy at £21.3m was reportedly on their agenda.

Digne was overlooked for selection against Arsenal and Crystal Palace following an apparent training ground row with Rafael Benitez. For the trip to Chelsea, the Guardian claimed Digne had ruled himself out with an alleged illness.

With a new left-back on the way, a fresh Guardian report stated Digne could now be axed. In their words, Myolenko’s arrival has ‘paved the way’ for Digne to leave. Romano echoed those sentiments, tweeting Digne ‘could really leave Everton in January if a good proposal arrives’.

PREDICTIONS: Liverpool too strong for rusty Tottenham; Arsenal continue winning run; Chelsea blow