Everton have reportedly registered their interest in Chelsea midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek, although Blues manager Thomas Tuchel holds the key to a deal.
Loftus-Cheek spent last season on loan at Fulham before returning to Stamford Bridge in the summer. Tuchel soon revealed his desire to keep the 26-year-old in west London.
Loftus-Cheek has gone on to make 20 appearances in all competitions, including 12 in the Premier League. He is yet to score a goal but has put up three assists for his team-mates.
The Englishman, who has won 10 caps to date, recently emerged on the radar of Italian giants Juventus. The Bianconeri will need a new central midfielder if they let Arthur join Arsenal this month.
Max Allegri’s side have now been joined by Everton in the transfer race, according to the Daily Mail. They claim the manager-less Toffees have informed Chelsea of their interest in Loftus-Cheek.
Everton have seen their midfield options depleted by a couple of injuries. Abdoulaye Doucoure and Fabian Delph could both be out for a month after picking up groin and thigh issues respectively.
Loftus-Cheek would be a simple solution as he is a ready-made Premier League midfielder. The player himself could be tempted by the prospect of being a certain starter, which is not guaranteed at Chelsea.
Tuchel weighs in on Ruben Loftus-Cheek move
However, it seems Tuchel holds all the cards. When asked about loaning Loftus-Cheek out earlier this month, the German said: “We haven’t talked about it.
“He has a lot of game time, he has a lot to fight for here if we talk about Ruben and my personal opinion.
“Anyway, this will happen behind closed doors. When we have something to announce, we will announce.”
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Loftus-Cheek has featured over 100 times for the Champions League holders since gaining promotion to their senior squad back in 2014.
His contract runs until June 2024 and he earns £150,000 per week, according to Salary Sport.
Southampton plot second Chelsea raid
Meanwhile, Southampton could attempt to sign another player from Chelsea after the big impact of Armando Broja.
20-year-old Broja left Stamford Bridge in August to link up with Southampton for the 2021-22 campaign. The centre-forward has been a big hit at St Mary’s, scoring seven goals in 21 appearances in all competitions.
He could complete a permanent Chelsea exit later this year as Saints are preparing a club-record bid worth £25million for the summer.
However, TEAMtalk exclusively revealed on Wednesday that competition is arising from Leeds, Everton and Wolves.
Armando Broja is not the only Chelsea man in Southampton’s sights. The Sun claim Saints are also hoping to land attacking midfielder Tino Anjorin.
He spent the first half of the campaign on loan at Russian outfit Lokomotiv Moscow but is now back in west London.
Saints are keen to take him on loan from the Blues, although a move will only occur in the summer. Their scouts will monitor his progress in the mean time.
A transfer to the Championship is more likely during January, as several teams in the second tier have their eye on him.