Euro giant opens talks with Chelsea over academy product, with high-profile exit mooted all season

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Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Mason Mount, Chelsea, October 2021 Credit: Alamy
Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Mason Mount, Chelsea, October 2021 Credit: Alamy

AC Milan have reportedly opened talks with Chelsea regarding Ruben Loftus-Cheek, with his exit now looking increasingly likely.

A Chelsea academy product is a success if they manage to break into the first-team at all. Indeed, the Blues have one of the strongest academies in Europe.

However, with the number of quality players, not all will see the light of day at Stamford Bridge.

Of late, there have been a good few academy products that have become notable figures in the Premier League. Loftus-Cheek is a part of that group, along with Mason Mount, Reece James, Conor Gallagher and Tammy Abraham, to name a few.

While he had to bide his time, sitting on the bench and being sent out on loan, as many of Chelsea’s youngsters do, Loftus-Cheek has managed to maintain a role in the first-team.

While he’s not yet made more than 24 league appearances in a single season, the 27-year-old has played 153 times in all competitions since his senior debut in 2014.

What’s more, in the last two seasons he’s played 71 times in all competitions – almost half of his overall tally. Despite a larger role of late, his contract expires at the end of next season, and it seems he might be in line for a move away.

After reportedly being offered to Inter Milan last season, he’s been the subject of reports of a move to Italy again throughout this season, this time regarding a move to AC Milan.

Indeed, reports recently suggested that with Milan stepping up their interest, Chelsea had placed a £21.7million price tag on the midfielder.

AC Milan open talks over Loftus-Cheek

That move might well be one that has legs. Indeed, Football Insider reports the Italian club have ‘opened preliminary talks’ with Chelsea regarding the transfer of Loftus-Cheek.

The report also suggests the Blues ‘will sell a number of players’ this summer in an attempt to try to ‘balance their books for Financial FairPlay purposes’.

It’s no secret that Chelsea have been gung-ho with their transfer policy over the past couple of windows. Over £500million worth of talent has joined the club in those two windows alone.

As such, the need to sell up to ensure there are no breaches is no surprise. Another recent report suggested Chelsea are ‘in a race to sell players before June 30’, when the club’s accounts for the year must be filed.

That same report names seven players the Blues will see the back of in order to ensure they’re in line with regulations – Loftus-Cheek is named.

Football Insider also reports he’s a player Chelsea are ‘open to parting with’. As such, everything points to the fact the midfielder will be allowed to leave the club this summer.

AC Milan move ideal for Loftus-Cheek

The move to Milan seems a good one for Loftus-Cheek. While he’s played a lot of football at Chelsea over the past couple of seasons, he’s not always been a starter, but he could push himself into that role at his new club.

What’s more, he’d be playing for a side that are in a good position – fourth in Serie A, only four points off second-placed Lazio.

Looking at how the careers of the likes of Abraham and Fikayo Tomori have panned out since moving to Italy should show Loftus-Cheek this move would be good for him.

Other than through injury or suspension, Tomori has hardly missed a game over the past couple of seasons, and he plays for Milan, so Loftus-Cheek would be able to link up with his former teammate was he to make the move.

Abraham has directly contributed to 48 goals in coming up to two full seasons since leaving England. As such, Italy is offering an opportunity for former Premier League players to thrive, and can do so for the Chelsea midfielder.

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