Aston Villa are pushing ahead with a deal to sign Chelsea’s Ruben Loftus-Cheek amid competition from West Ham and Southampton.
Loftus-Cheek came through Chelsea’s academy and made his first-team debut during the 2014/15 season.
He has struggled for regular first-team opportunities at the Blues. This is despite him being one of the shining lights of their academy in recent years.
The 24-year-old spent the 2017/18 campaign on loan at Crystal Palace. He really grew in confidence that season, as he enjoyed a really fruitful loan spell.
He made 24 league appearances, as he regularly impressed which earned him a place in England’s 2018 World Cup squad.
Loftus-Cheek returned to Chelsea that summer and became a regular for them during the 2018/19 season. The midfielder made 40 appearances in all competitions, scoring ten goals.
Since then, his opportunities have been limited because of injuries and with new players coming in.
He started in Chelsea’s opening game of the new season against Brighton. He struggled to impress though, and he has since been out of the team.
With Chelsea spending over £200m this summer on new signings, first-team chances for Loftus-Cheek will be hard to come by. Frank Lampard is reportedly willing to let him leave on loan this window.
This has sparked interest from a number of Premier League clubs. Southampton and West Ham have already declared their interest.
According to the Daily Mail, Aston Villa have struck first, and they hope to complete a loan deal for Loftus-Cheek before others make their move.
Villa have already had a busy summer, spending around £80m on new signings. Championship duo Ollie Watkins and Matty Cash have joined for £28m and £14m respectively from Brentford and Nottm Forest.
The Villans have also signed Arsenal ‘keeper Emiliano Martinez for £20m, along with Bertrand Traoré from Lyon for around £17m.
Villa boss Dean Smith is now turning his attention to Loftus-Cheek on loan to bolster his midfield options.