The agent of Ruben Loftus-Cheek insists there has been no dialogue between Chelsea and Lazio about the midfielder’s future.
Loftus-Cheek, 26 has been linked with a move to Italy during the summer transfer window. Inter Milan were thought to hold an interest. And reports earlier this month claimed he may be used as a makeweight in a deal to land Inter defender Milan Skriniar.
That particular trail has gone cold at the moment but Lazio have now surfaced as possible suitors. I Biancocelesti are managed by former Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri.
And it was during the 63-year-old’s one season in charge at Stamford Bridge that Loftus-Cheek enjoyed his most productive campaign.
The England international scored six goals from 24 Premier League outings and 10 in all competitions.
It appears as though Sarri has not forgotten his former charge. And, with the Blues seemingly willing to let him leave, the veteran may be about to strike.
The Londoner’s agent, Jonathan Barnett, denied that talks are underway. However, he did add fuel to the rumours by suggesting both parties involved might welcome the move.
“Lazio have not spoken with Chelsea that I know of, although Sarri is a fan of him and he likes Serie A. Let’s see what will happen,” he told Il Messaggero.
Loftus-Cheek future up in the air
Loftus-Cheek looked set for big things when he broke into the Chelsea first team in the 2015-2016 campaign. But he has never been able to nail down a regular staring berth with the west London outfit.
Indeed, the schemer’s busiest times have come while he has been away on loan. He enjoyed 21 starts among 24 top-flight outings for Crystal Palace in 2017-2018.
And he also started 21 games and made 30 league appearances during a temporary stint with Fulham in 2020-21.
Loftus-Cheek has two more years of his current contract to run and would not break the bank of any interested club. But his future will depend on Thomas Tuchel’s ability to bring in the new players that he wants.
The German tactician will not want to leave himself light in midfield if he fails to land his summer targets.
Raheem Sterling has been linked with a move to the Bridge. The England ace has just one year left on his Etihad deal.
And it may be that a move south is what he needs after being benched by Pep Guardiola towards the end of last season. Others may arrive to hasten Loftus-Cheek’s exit but his agent’s words suggest any move is not imminent.