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Chelsea's Ruben Loftus-Cheek 'gives green light to AC Milan move'

Ruben Loftus-Cheek 'gives green light to AC Milan move'
© Reuters
Chelsea midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek reportedly gives the green light to a summer move to AC Milan, who are preparing their opening bid for the 27-year-old.

Chelsea midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek has reportedly given the thumbs-up to a proposed move to AC Milan this summer.

The 27-year-old struggled for consistent performances in West London during the Blues' troubled 2022-23 season, and his contract now has a little over 12 months left to run.

Chelsea can trigger an extension in Loftus-Cheek's deal to retain his services until 2025, but given his status as a rotational player, they are unlikely to do so.

With the capital club also under pressure to make sales after reporting a loss of £121m in their accounts for 2021-22, Loftus-Cheek could be one of several names on the chopping block.

A reunion with Maurizio Sarri at Lazio was previously mentioned for Loftus-Cheek, but AC Milan have apparently now jumped to the head of the queue.

Chelsea's Ruben Loftus-Cheek applauds the fans after the match, January 8, 2022© Reuters

According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, Loftus-Cheek has now given the move his seal of approval, and Milan could soon make a formal bid for his services.

The report claims that Stefano Pioli's men identified the Englishman as their top midfield target for the summer window after Ismael Bennacer suffered a serious knee injury, which could keep him out for the rest of the calendar year.

Milan are said to be in talks with both Chelsea and Loftus-Cheek's representatives, but there is still disparity between the two clubs when it comes to a fee.

The Blues are apparently after as much as €25m (£21.5m) to sell the midfielder, while Milan's opening offer is only expected to come in at €15m (£12.9m) plus add-ons.

Furthermore, the Rossoneri are supposedly not willing to go above €20m (£17.2m), and the reported sacking of sporting director Paolo Maldini could also impact Milan's pursuit.

Chelsea's Ruben Loftus-Cheek looks dejected after the match on February 15, 2023© Reuters

Loftus-Cheek has been on the books at Chelsea for 19 year since joining their academy in 2004, and he has risen through the ranks to make 155 appearances for the first team.

The 27-year-old has scored 13 goals and provided 18 assists for the Premier League side, including two assists from 33 matches during the 2022-23 season, where he made 19 Premier League starts in a variety of positions.

A productive loan spell at Crystal Palace in the 2017-18 season earned Loftus-Cheek an England call-up for the Russia World Cup, but he has not been part of the Three Lions' setup for nearly five years.

As well as Loftus-Cheek, Chelsea's midfield could also be thinned by the possible exits of N'Golo Kante and Mateo Kovacic, the latter of whom is supposedly being courted by Manchester City.

Meanwhile, Kante is yet to agree to a contract extension beyond the end of June, and clubs in Saudi Arabia are said to be monitoring his situation.

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