Southampton started talks with 25-year-old Chelsea loanee

Southampton have expressed interest in signing Chelsea midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek this summer, according to reports. England international has spent the majority of the 2020-21 season on loan at Fulham, who were relegated from the PL last week.

Loftus-Cheek also spent a campaign on loan at Crystal Palace three years ago, as he continues to struggle to break into the Blues first team. Ruben has played 82 games for Chelsea since making his first-team debut in December 2014 but could be ready for another loan spell away from the London club at the end of the campaign.

The 25-year-old midfielder will not remain at Fulham in the Championship but the Saints are interested in securing his signature this summer. It is claimed they want to sign the English midfielder on a season-long loan, with the opportunity to make the deal permanent in 12 months’ time.

Blues are yet to make a decision over Ruben’s future but the German boss recently praised the footballer and likened him to legendary player Michael Ballack. ‘I was quite a fan of him when he was even younger,’ Thomas Tuchel said last month.

‘It reminded us a bit of his style of play and movements with Michael Ballack. There were some links about him all the time with maybe a move to the German league so we were well aware of his talent.’

‘He is on loan now and doing well. It would be unfair to judge him from TV. I like to work with players and give my opinion then, maybe also pretty quick but also from a direct impression. I don’t know what my opinion is or the club’s opinion is. There’s no decision made yet.’