Fulham make late surge in transfer battle for injury-plagued Chelsea star
Fulham are making a late push to sign Ruben Loftus-Cheek from Chelsea, according to reports.
Loftus-Cheek is on the lookout for a new home after Frank Lampard told him he was free to leave Chelsea. The England midfielder has struggled for gametime at Stamford Bridge due to injury problems in recent years.
A number of Premier League clubs have been alerted to his availability, with previous reports indicating that West Ham wanted him.
But a different London club are now making a late surge to sign him. According to the Daily Mail, Fulham are eager to wrap up a deal before the transfer deadline.
Fulham have started the new season with four straight defeats in the Premier League, leaving them desperate for reinforcements before the transfer window closes.
According to the Mail, Scott Parker wants to sign as many as three players on deadline day. Bringing in two centre-backs is the priority, but he also wants a midfielder.
Loftus-Cheek could be the solution there, with Lampard openly admitting that he can leave on loan.
“There is a possibility Ruben might go out (on loan) to play games,” the Chelsea boss said in September. “I think that would be great for him.
“We hold him in very high regard here, I certainly do, and that could be a good option for him.”
The 24-year-old only started two Premier League games last season. He was restricted to six league starts the year before that, after returning to Stamford Bridge from a productive loan spell at Crystal Palace.
Fulham chasing double defender deal
As well as Loftus-Cheek, Fulham have identified a number of targets to strengthen their defence.
The Mail add that Barcelona’s Jean-Clair Todibo and Lyon’s Joachim Andersen are among their options in their hunt for new centre-backs.
Fulham are in talks for both players, with Andersen keen on a Premier League move but Todibo also attracting interest from Serie A side Bologna.
PSV’s Timo Baumgartl and Sampdoria’s Omar Colley are other alternatives for Fulham.
Meanwhile, Chelsea have turned down an offer for another of their academy graduates, which could have earned them €70m.